Sunday, March 24, 2019

Nine Lies About Work (Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall)

You might remember the commercial of Pinocchio as a motivational speaker, encouraging attendees by saying “You have potential!” before his nose grew and grew with each successive falsehood. The adage that we have potential in our careers and lives is one of nine lies that Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall expose in Nine Lies About Work. They instead argue that we have momentum, not necessarily potential.

The authors break down several myths about workplaces and the career world, from people caring about which company they work for to leadership being “a thing” (their words). Through research, studies and data, they break through these corporate myth silos and replace them with various truths of how company success and employee engagement happens.

One memorable myth deals with the infamous employee performance review and how people can reliably rate other individuals. Without giving too much away, there’s more to busting that myth than unconscious or conscious bias at play; some of us are just too benevolent or too tough in comparison to our peers and other reviewers. I found this section fascinating.

The research in Nine Lies About Work was on point and thought-provoking but, at times, unconventional. Given many individuals in the corporate world still rely on the mentality of “Well, that’s the way it’s always been” way too much, providing truths to challenge workplace myths may help move corporate performance, employee retention, and overall personal happiness up a notch or two. This book challenges all of us to think differently about not just our role, but the role others play in the work we do each day.