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Literature of Leadership - August Book Review

NINE LIES ABOUT WORK: A FREETHINKING LEADER’S GUIDE TO THE REAL WORLD. Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall. (2019, Kindle Edition)

Written by bestselling author Marcus Buckingham and Cisco Leadership and Team Intelligence Lead Ashley Goodall, Nine Lies About Work is a provocative book that challenges conventional wisdom on many core concepts in management science. Agree or disagree with the assertions and associated prescriptions advanced by the authors (not to mention the use of the term “lies”), a key takeaway that resonated for this reviewer is - Never make assumptions about even commonly held beliefs; always check the facts and validate assumptions.

The nine “lies” and associated “truths” uncovered in reading this book include:

LIE #1: People care which “company” they work for; TRUTH: People care which “team” they’re on.

LIE #2: The best “plan” wins; TRUTH: The best “intelligence” wins.

LIE #3: The best companies cascade “goals”; TRUTH: The best companies cascade “meaning” of what truly matters and the purpose of work.

LIE #4: The best people are “well-rounded”; TRUTH: The best people are “spiky” they continually strive to make the most of their unique mix of traits and skills.

LIE #5: People need “feedback”; TRUTH: People need “attention” in a safe and nonjudgmental environment.

LIE #6: People can “reliably rate other people”; TRUTH: While people can “reliably rate their own experience”, performance management tools are not reliable raters of other people.

LIE #7: People have “potential”; TRUTH: People have “momentum”- a demonstrable ability to grow

.LIE #8: “Work-life balance” matters most; TRUTH: “Love-in-work” matters most.

LIE #9: Leadership is a “thing”; TRUTH: Leadership is “many different things”, and the only determinant of whether anyone is leading is whether anyone else is following.

Whether you subscribe to the assertions and arguments made or not, this book is definitely thought-provoking and a worthwhile read!

Image source: Amazon

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