This post is part of the 📖 Nine Lies About Work series.
Today, I am reading the LIE #4: The best people are well-rounded chapter of book Nine Lies About Work written by Authors Marcus Buckingham & Ashley Goodall.
There are some big lies, distortions, faulty assumptions, wrong thinking that we encounter every time we show up for work. Nine lies, to be exact. They cause dysfunction and frustration, ultimately resulting in workplaces that are a pale shadow of what they could be.
By reading Nine Lies About Work, you can get past the lies and discover what’s real. These freethinking leaders recognize the power and beauty of our uniqueness. They know that emergent patterns are more valuable than received wisdom and that evidence is more powerful than dogma.
LIE #4: The best people are well-rounded
“Something you are good at” is not a strength; it is an ability. You will be able to demonstrate high ability—albeit briefly—at quite a few things that bring you no joy whatsoever.
A strength, on the other hand, is an “activity that makes you feel strong.” This sort of activity possesses certain definable qualities. Before you do it, you find yourself actively looking forward to doing it. While you are doing it, time seems to speed up, one moment blurring into the next.
What makes a certain activity strong?
Positive anticipation beforehand, flow during, and fulfilment afterwards.
We are drawn to activities in which we find joy. We can’t always explain why, but some activities seem to contain ingredients that breathe life into us, lifting us out of ourselves to reveal something finer, more resilient, and more creative.
The “every-day-ness” of the feeling that your work plays to your strengths is a vital condition of high performance.
Somehow, on the best teams, the team leader can identify each person’s strengths and tweak roles and responsibilities so that team members, individually, feel that their work calls upon them to exercise their strengths daily.
- Ongoing work-strengths fit is the master lever for high-performance teams: pull it, and everything else is elevated; fail to pull it, and everything else is diminished.
That’s it for today. Tomorrow, we will continue to read the same chapter LIE #4: The best people are well-rounded.
LIE #1: People care which company they work for
We, as team members, want our team leader to make us feel part of something bigger, that he/she shows us how what we are doing together is important and meaningful. You as a team leader make us feel that you can see us, and connect to us, and care about us, and challenge us in a way that recognizes who we are as individuals.
LIE #2: The Best Plan Wins
It’s far better to coordinate your team’s efforts in real-time, relying heavily on each unique team member’s informed, detailed intelligence. You’ll have to sit down and survey your team members and make your plan.
The more frequently and predictably you check in with your people or meet with your team—the more you offer your real-time attention to the reality of their work—the more performance and engagement you will get.
It’s not true that the best plan wins. The best intelligence indeed wins.
LIE #3: The best companies cascade goals
We should unlock information through intelligence systems and cascade meaning through our expressed values, rituals, and stories.
We should let our people know what’s going on in the world and which hill we’re trying to take, and then we should trust them to figure out how to contribute.
They will invariably make better and more authentic decisions than those derived from any planning system that cascades goals from on high.
Author(s): Marcus Buckingham
Author(s): Ashley Goodall
Part 8 of 23 in the 📖 Nine Lies About Work book series.