Build Great Teams: How To Harness, Create and Be Part of a Powerful Team – American Library Association and Catherine Hakala-Ausperk – Simple Truths – Published 30 March 2021




Teamwork matters. But how do you A) enlist a powerhouse team; B) develop successful teamwork skills; and C) turn a troubled team around?

In just one year (or 52-weeks), you can achieve your personal dream team through Catherine Hakala-Ausperk’s proven program. Organized into 52 modules—designed to cover a year of weekly sessions, but easily adaptable for any pace—Build Great Teams covers major management issues such as: success with recruiting, setting teammates up for success, good organizational communication skills, establishing an innovative team, and more!

My thoughts

Build Great Teams appears to be a re-release of the 2012 title Build a Great Team: One Year to Success. While I haven’t read that book, looking at the summary and contents page, the two seem to have very similar content and layout, with just a few updates and changes.

Build Great Teams is a very approachable book. It is set out as a guide you could use over a year to improve your team leading skills. Each week’s content is extremely short (most just a page and a half long, with very large text and a large stock image taking up most of the space). The text is also very readable. No research, stats or other details, this book is like a friend giving you a few tips to try out each week. I had read a whole month’s worth before realising that it was a month’s worth and not just one week.

While this book is something I could certainly see having time in my week to fit in, it didn’t have the depth of content I was looking for. Each week’s content is more a general suggestion of how a team might work best together or an example from another company. The learning is implied.

I think to get the most out of this book, I would need to use each chapter as merely a starting point and do some reflection or find some related activities to go with each chapter’s topic.  The marketing materials do mention the possibility of accompanying workbooks or resources, which I think would make this a far more practical resource. 

As the co-author is the American Library Association I expected the content to be library related, but instead the content is extremely generic. No workplace contexts are specified or explained, so while this book might be useful to you, no matter your work content, I was disappointed it wasn’t library specific.

The structure of the chapters starts with a general look at teamwork but then moves into recruitment, hiring and introducing the new hire to the team. My experience with teams is that these actions are not the first interactions I have with a team, so I found myself starting from the middle of the book and then working back to the beginning, which made more sense to my own experience.

If you are someone who finds that you do not have time to digest most leadership or team building books, then the layout and structure of Build Great Teams will be the perfect book for you.

The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

More information

Category:  Non-fiction

Subjects: Work, team work, working relationships, conflict resolution, bullying, workplace harassment, human resources, management.

Format: Hardcover. 136 pages.

Published: 30 March 2021 by Simple Truths

ISBN: 9781728210711