This post is part of the đź“– Nine Lies About Work series.

Today, I am continue reading the LIE #4: The best people are well-rounded chapter of book Nine Lies About Work written by Authors Marcus Buckingham & Ashley Goodall.

TL;DR! đź’¬

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.

Yesterday, I started reading the LIE #4: The best people are well-rounded chapter from Nine Lies About Work book.

Chapter #4

LIE #4: The best people are well-rounded

The research into high performance in any profession or endeavour reveals that excellence is idiosyncratic.

The well-rounded high performer is a creature of the theory world. However, in the real world, each high performer is unique and distinct and excels precisely because that person has understood their uniqueness and cultivated it intelligently.

Growth, it turns out, is actually a question not of figuring out how to gain ability where we lack it but figuring out how to increase impact where we already have the ability. — Marcus Buckingham & Ashley Goodall, Nine Lies About Work

Because our abilities are diverse, you see not diversity minimised when you look at a great performance, but rather diversity magnified, not sameness but uniqueness.

What happens when we measure the strengths and skills of a regular job? Do we find idiosyncrasy or well-roundedness?

Every single occupation the Gallup Organization studied—salesperson, teacher, doctor, housekeeper—displayed this same pattern: those who excelled did not share all the same abilities but instead displayed unique combinations of different abilities strongly.

Excellence in the real world, in every profession, is idiosyncratic.

However, in the real world, these long lists of intricately defined competencies (according to IBM, there are 118 competencies) don’t exist, and if they did, they wouldn’t matter.

If, as someone once said, the British fox hunt is unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible, then the competency model is unmeasurable in pursuit of the irrelevant.

Key Takeaways

  • Excellence in the real world, in every profession, is idiosyncratic.

That’s it for today. Tomorrow, we will continue to read the same chapter LIE #4: The best people are well-rounded.

What lies we've learned so far?
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

Nine Lies about Work

Author(s): Marcus Buckingham

Author(s): Ashley Goodall

Short Blurb: How do you get to what's real? Your organization's culture is the key to its success. Strategic … Read more
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Part 9 of 23 in the đź“– Nine Lies About Work book series.

Series Start | Nine Lies About Work - Day 8 | Nine Lies About Work - Day 10

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