Apples and Oranges on Your Team

Bite-Size Stories for Life-Giving Leadership

Non-Fiction - Occupational
164 Pages
Reviewed on 11/17/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Apples and Oranges on Your Team: Bite-Size Stories for Life-Giving Leadership is a work of non-fiction in the occupational and leadership subgenres. It is suitable for the general reading audience and was penned by author Steven Sullivan. The work is a discussion on how to assemble teams who are diverse, well suited for their work, and encouraged to perform to their highest potential. By using various stories and anecdotes from different avenues of life, the author intends to demonstrate how your leadership choices can impact your environment, all without the pretense of step-by-step solutions which assume one size fits all when it comes to team building.

Apples and Oranges on Your Team was a fascinating approach to guidebooks on leadership which is a market that constantly sits on the precipice of over-saturation. In a market in which people try to sell quick fixes and ready-made solutions to nuanced and diverse problems, it’s so wonderfully refreshing to read a book that acknowledges that it cannot do all of the work for you. Instead, author Steven Sullivan tells a series of stories about leadership in different contexts so that the reader can take what lessons they need from as many or as few of these stories as they require. Instead of a guide that holds your hand without listening to your context, Sullivan has created a tool for reflection that readers in leadership positions will find invaluable. Apples and Oranges on Your Team is a well-considered, excellently constructed, and thought-provoking lesson on leadership that acknowledges the uniqueness of its readers and still finds a way to provide help and guidance to all.

Edith Wairimu

Apples and Oranges on Your Team: Bite-Size Stories for Life-Giving Leadership by Steven Sullivan shares timeless lessons for handling team leadership and other workplace issues. Apples and oranges are used to illustrate different types of employees. Like these fruits, employees’ needs are different and to grow each employee, the leader will have to adopt unique approaches for every person. The process of a tree bearing fruit and blossoming after receiving nutrients is likened to the process of developing a team and the forming of a pearl is used to demonstrate personal growth. The work includes numerous lessons applicable to everyday situations on topics about team leadership, growing in the workplace, and identifying different individuals’ strengths.

This is a book whose practical lessons will be useful to anyone regardless of their leadership role. The lessons shared have a universal appeal and can be applied to different situations outside work. I loved how the book solves complex problems through captivating stories and everyday moments that are familiar. The author also blends the lessons with the stories skillfully and by the end of each story, the lesson is made clear. When reading, I also appreciated the encouraging tone. It considers different types of people and their personalities and goes ahead to examine their weaknesses and strengths. For the weaknesses, it offers actionable ways on how they can be overcome. Employees are also seen as important resources of an organization who need nurturing and encouragement. Apples and Oranges on Your Team by Steven Sullivan shares critical lessons that any leader will find valuable.

Daniel D Staats

Wise business leaders will work to make sure the work environment is conducive to employee growth. In Apples and Oranges on Your Team: Bite-Size Stories for Life-Giving Leadership, Steven Lee Sullivan guides the reader on developing a proper work environment. One critical skill that Steven hammers into the reader is listening to their people. Everyone is different, and their motivation differs. Learn your people and how to motivate them for a successful business team. At the end of each chapter, there is a penetrating question with ample space to ponder, reflect, and respond. Amazingly, the gold nuggets Steven shares will not only improve your abilities as a leader but also work to improve other interpersonal relationships, including marriages. Business leaders at all levels can benefit from the wisdom and skills that he shares. Be sure to take the time necessary to develop each presented skill.

Steven Lee Sullivan has written Apples and Oranges on Your Team in a coaching style. Steven does not tell the reader what to do, but he presents vignettes that cause them to think about better interaction with their team. To increase the value of this little book, Steven has graciously made available a discussion guide online. This guide will help you lead your team to greater success. Steven has years of experience as a life/business coach and brings his wisdom to the forefront in this fantastic book. His method of writing is encouraging and engaging. He does not lecture but pulls up a chair and chats with his readers. Under his wise guidance, many leaders will be born and multiply.