Nine Lies About Work

by Marcus Buckingham & Ashley Goodall

Interesting story on how this book obtained a position at the top shelf of my library because I did not actually choose this book on my own. I received this book during an RFP process from a District Sales Manager for ADP, Talita Escobar. Obviously when I received the book the first thing that came to mind was, “I am not reading this, is just another sales tactic from a salesperson to a prospective client. It’s all BS”. I went ahead and put the book on my desk in my home office. For about a year or so I kept looking at it on my desk while I would work until I finally said to myself, “you know what, let me see the kind of brainwashing this book represents.” This is how the journey began. As I started reading, I kept saying to myself “huh, that makes sense” or “wow that’s a different perspective” and from that point I was hooked. I kept on reading because the information that was being shared seemed so relatable that I wanted to know more about each work “lie” I had been told over the years.

The more I kept reading the more I realized that the author had a progressive look on leadership that made sense to me, especially in the more recent years where the workplace has seen a revolution in business behavior. The nine topics cover everything from Performance Management to Company Culture to Strategic Planning. It describes how we have been taught to think about these concepts and how there is a new perspective that can totally contradict the way we visualize leadership. The most interesting part that caught my attention is that it’s not some random author speaking from experience on what “they think happens” or what “their professional opinion” is the authors, Marcus Buckingham & Ashley Goodall”, provide information backed by studies and surveys from real managers and real companies like Cisco. It makes it even more relevant because if you describe these items in a way that seems unreal but then you have it backed by a global organization that actually implemented and makes these new concepts work, then you can fully understand that this type of new forward thinking business model can actually work and be successful.

For me, probably the biggest lie that I could relate to is about cascading goals. It was really something that caught me off guard because being in the Human Resources environment for over 20 years, one of the annual tasks is always the performance review process. Typically, this process includes designing goals for the new year and adding them as part of the elements that will be used to manage the performance of that employee in the next 12 months. Refocusing that point of view into cascading values instead of goals makes you take a look at this process with a whole new perspective that actually seems more practical. I took away many examples that I now use in my day-to-day interactions of advising leaders and business owners.

Now, I would actually like to thank Talita Escobar for giving me this book. Although I initially thought it was a sales tactic, I realized that, even if it was, it provided me with a wealth of information and allowed me to get introduced to a new perspective on leadership that I otherwise would have probably not even entertained. It’s a great read and I recommend it to leaders that are in the business of moving their teams forward.

Amazon Link: Nine Lies About Work

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