PSL Reader
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PSL Reader

About the Book

Do you equate leadership with management? Do you wonder how to find your leadership style? We need leaders at all levels, in all teams, everywhere in all organizations. You can exercise your leadership skills, once you know how to lead. Read these essays and chapters, and then you can start practicing your problem solving leadership.

This is the readings book we provide to the Problem Solving Leadership workshop participants.

About the Authors

Esther Derby
Esther Derby

I started my career as a programmer, and over the years I’ve worn many hats, including business owner, internal consultant and manager. From all these perspectives, one thing became clear: our level of individual, team and company success was deeply impacted by our work environment and organizational dynamics. As a result, I have spent the last twenty-five years helping companies design their environment, culture, and human dynamics for optimum success.

As well as editing this collection, I've co-authored two other books:  Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great, Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management. I contributed to Center, Enter, Turn, Sustain: Essays on Change Artistry and Readings for Problem-Solving Leadership.

My most recent book is 7 Rules for Positive Productive Change: Micro Shifts, Macro Results. It is available on

Don Gray
Don Gray

My goal is to create sustainable work environments that fulfill organizational needs and enable personal growth. I work with executives and managers building coherent organizational structures, processes and goals where teams can flourish. I base my consulting on systems thinking and human systems dynamics focused on increasing the organization’s ability to deliver user value. Nationally, I've worked with clients from Jacksonville, FL to Seattle, WA. I also work internationally when requested.

Johanna Rothman
Johanna Rothman

Johanna Rothman, known as the “Pragmatic Manager,” offers frank advice for your tough problems. She helps leaders and teams do reasonable things that work. Equipped with that knowledge, they can then decide how to adapt their product development.

With her trademark practicality and humor, Johanna is the author of 18 books and hundreds of articles. Find the Pragmatic Manager, a monthly email newsletter, and her blogs at and

She is the author of these books:

In addition, she is a contributor to:

For fiction:

Johanna Rothman

Episode 3

Gerald M. Weinberg
Gerald M. Weinberg

I've always been interested in helping smart people be happy and productive. To that end, I've published books on human behavior, including Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method, The Psychology of Computer Programming, Perfect Software and Other Fallacies, and an Introduction to General Systems Thinking. I've also written books on leadership including Becoming a Technical Leader, The Secrets of Consulting (Foreword by Virginia Satir), More Secrets of Consulting, and the nine-volume Quality Software series.

I try to incorporate my knowledge of science, engineering, and human behavior into all of my writing and consulting work (with writers, hi-tech researchers, software engineers, and people whose life-situation could require the use of a service dog). I write novels about such people, including The Aremac Project, Aremac Power, Jigglers, First Stringers, Second Stringers, The Hands of God, Freshman Murders, Where There's a Will There's a Murder, Earth's Endless Effort, and Mistress of Molecules—all about how my brilliant protagonists produce quality work and learn to be happy. My books that are not yet on Leanpub may be found as eBooks at <>; on Amazon at; and at Barnes and Noble bookstore:

Early in my career, I was the architect for the Project Mercury's space tracking network and designer of the world's first multiprogrammed operating system. I won the Warnier Prize, the Stevens Award, and the first Software Testing Professionals' Luminary Award, all for my writing on software quality. I was also elected a charter member of the Computing Hall of Fame in San Diego and chosen for the University of Nebraska Hall of Fame.

But the "award" I'm most proud of is the book, The Gift of Time (Fiona Charles, ed.) written by my student and readers for my 75th birthday. Their stories make me feel that I've been at least partially successful at helping smart people be happy.

Gerald M. Weinberg

Episode 82

Table of Contents

  • Part 1: Leadership Styles
    • Managing In Mayberry
    • Do We Have to Choose Between Management and Leadership?
    • Beyond Blaming: Congruence in Large System Development Projects
  • Part 2: Designing Interventions for Change
    • Change, Transitions, and Messes
    • Change is Inevitable
    • The Satir Change Model: Interventions
    • Learning by Design: Constructing Experiential Learning Programs
    • Seven Lessons from a Top Down Change
  • Part 3: Observing Yourself and Others
    • This Title May Change at Any Time! (How Do You Feel About That?)
    • Beyond Belief
    • Seeing the Other Person’s Big Picture
    • Seeing Your Own Big Picture
  • Part 4: Appreciating Individual Differences
    • The Identified Patient Pattern
    • Approaching a Conflict in Style
  • Part 5: Building Relationships
    • The Secret Ingredients of High Morale
    • Peer-to-Peer Feedback
    • Why Not Ask Why?
    • How2 Create a Buddy (Informal Mentoring) Program
    • Getting Some Good Out Of Bad Interviewing
    • Four Different Ways of Participating
    • Choosing Facilitation
    • How to Improve Meetings When You’re Not in Charge
    • Understanding and Creating Safety
    • Collaboration: It’s more than facilitated meetings
  • Part 7: Problem Solving
    • Always Be Second
    • What’s on Your Not-To-Do List?
    • The Exception is the Rule
    • Shifting the Burden – Whose Monkey is it?
    • Solving Other People’s Problems
  • Bibliography: Problem Solving Leadership
    • More From Esther Derby
    • More From Don Gray
    • More From Johanna Rothman
    • More from Gerald M. Weinberg

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