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General

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful is a book by Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter published in 2007.

The trouble with successful people is that they tend to believe that their “bad” habits are not so “bad.” They have proof of that. They are successful. So, what could they do, or more precisely, what could they stop doing to be more successful?

The book presents The Twenty Habits That Hold You Back From The Top:

  1. Winning too much: The need to win at all costs and in all situations – when it matters, when it doesn’t, and when it’s totally beside the point.
  2. Adding too much value: The overwhelming desire to add our two cents to every discussion.
  3. Passing judgment: The need to rate others and impose our standards on them
  4. Making destructive comments: The needless sarcasm and cutting remarks that we think make us sound sharp and witty.
  5. Starting with “No,” “But,” or “However”: The overuse of these negative qualifiers which secretly say to everyone, “I’m right. You’re wrong.”
  6. Telling the world how smart we are: The need to show people we’re smarter than they think we are.
  7. Speaking when angry: Using emotional volatility as a management tool.
  8. Negativity, or “Let me explain why that won’t work”: The need to share our negative thoughts even when we weren’t asked.
  9. Withholding information: The refusal to share information in order to maintain an advantage over others.
  10. Failing to give proper recognition: The inability to praise and reward.
  11. Claiming credit that we don’t deserve: The most annoying way to overestimate our contribution to any success.
  12. Making excuses: The need to reposition our annoying behavior as a permanent fixture so people excuse us for it.
  13. Clinging to the past: The need to deflect blame away from ourselves and onto events and people from our past; a subset of blaming everyone else.
  14. Playing favorites: Failing to see that we are treating someone unfairly.
  15. Refusing to express regret: The inability to take responsibility for our actions, admit when we’re wrong, or recognize how our actions affect others.
  16. Not listening: The most passive-aggressive form of disrespect for colleagues.
  17. Failing to express gratitude: The most basic form of bad manners.
  18. Punishing the messenger: The misguided need to attack the innocent who are usually trying to help us.
  19. Passing the buck: The need to blame everyone but ourselves.
  20. An excessive need to be “me”: Exalting our faults as virtues simply because they’re who we are.

The “twenty-first” habit is goal obsession.

The idea that being obsessed with a high-level goal makes you forget the hear and now. The present in which you are, indeed, destroying all your chances of reaching your goals.

I love to use books with people I work with. I used The Five Dysfunctions of A Team or The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni. I also used Radical Candor by Kim Scott.

I decided to use the twenty habits with a leadership team I just met.

The first part of the session was reviewing and discussing the habits. Listening to the questions and discussions can teach a lot about the people in the room.

The second part was for the team members to identify for each other, through an anonymous survey, what habit they thought the others in the team should focus on removing.

The third part was for the team members to discover the results, and pick the habit they will want to work on during the next quarter.

The last part was to select their accountability partner to work with to achieve the goal.

I am happy with the results so far. If you try the practice, let me know through the usual means: email, Twitter, or Linkedin.

Categories
General

The Advantage of a book discussion club

The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business is a book by Patrick Lencioni. This one is not a business novel, like The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (you may have read that previous post).

The book purpose is to explain a model to bring organizational health.

I will not enter into the details of the book itself as you can read a summary here. The goal of that post is to explain how we used that book with a leadership team I work with.

I like to read books, so I usually recommend books to read to others. I am using some books as the theme for retreat meetings for teams. I used the Five Dysfunction of a Team for the first meeting of that leadership team.

A few weeks later, one other reader in the group, shared his reading notes on The Practice of Management by Peter Druker and proposed actions based on what he learned in the book. The results were good, and this fosters the idea to organize a book discussion club. The first book we chose: The Advantage. The book club was organized the day before the quarterly meeting of the leadership team.

And so we used the book as an introduction to our meeting, as a warm up for the retrospective. And also decided to answer the 6 questions below as a way to prepare our review of our Objectives and Key Results.

1. Why do we exist? The answer to this question will yield a core purpose or the fundamental reason the company is in business.
2. How do we behave? This question examines behaviors and values required for success.
3. What do we do? This answer provides a simple, direct explanation of the business.
4. How will we succeed? This question requires the team members to develop a strategy.
5. What is most important, right now? The answer to this question is the establishment of a unifying thematic goal and action plan.
6. Who must do what? This question addresses roles and responsibilities.

A few weeks later, I can say that this was a really effective meeting, and we already chose the next book: Competing Against Luck from Clayton Christensen.

Something to try with your team?

 

Categories
livre

The Five Dysfunctions of A Team

“If you can get all the people of an organization  rowing in the same direction you can dominate any industry on any market against any competition at any time.”

When the author use this quote from a friend in front of executives, they are all nodding, not only to express their approbation, but to express their inability to make it happen.

TheFiveDysfunctionsOfATeamSuccess comes to those who are able to overcome the human bias that undermine the teamwork.

The five dysfunctions of a team is a book by Patrick Lencioni (not a new one, but it’s often useful to re-read some “classics”). This book use a novel at the beginning to make easier to understand the ideas that are further reexplain at the end.

The five dysfunctions can’t be treated in isolation, the first one is the foundation of the next and so on.

TheFiveDysfunctionsOfATeam-2The five dysfunctions are, according to the author:

  • Absence of trust: unwilling to be vulnerable within the group
  • Fear of conflict: seeking artificial harmony over constructive passionate debate
  • Lack of commitment: feigning buy-in for group decisions creates ambiguity throughout the organization
  • Avoidance of accountability: ducking the responsibility to call peers on counterproductive behavior which sets low standards
  • Inattention to results: focusing on personal success, status and ego before team success

The author suggest tools to resolve each of the five dysfunctions. It’s probably there that the age of the book is visible as some of the tools had been overpass by others more recent and more effective.

Nevertheless, the model proposed by the book is useful to help a team understand what they will need to achieve to become an efficient team.

A book to recommend to many 🙂

You will also appreciate Rafael‘s review on goodreads (and all the others that will motivate you to read (or re-read) some books.

Header picture is from Adam Przewoski.