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The 9 lies about Work supports your future

It ain't what you don't know thats gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so. Probably Mark Twain

When conducting research for the book The 9 Lies about Work, Marcus Buckingham and co-author Ashley Goodall found that a lot of the “basic truths” people think they know about work are actually not true at all.

The nine lies that they found are based on data and evidence from the real world of work, it’s not just their opinion or their philosophy.

Their nine lies found in the world of work are:

1. People care which company they work for
2. The best plan wins
3. The best organizations cascade goals
4. People are well rounded
5. People need feedback
6. People can reliably rate other people
7. People have potential
8. Work life balance matters most
9. Leadership is a thing

There are 9 chapters in this book.

The first 3 chapters are about culture, plans and goals. The next 4 chapters are about human behaviour. Chapter 8 questions why work life balance is the ideal and presents a very different aspiration. Chapter 9 outlines what happens when one with passion surrender to the vision of another.

The book lays out each lie in turn, deconstructs each one, and then explores the truth that each lie masks and how we can benefit from it.

Work life balance

If we treat work as generally bad, and life as generally good, and imagine that somehow we can balance these two out, we’re embarking on an impossible mission.

Global engagement

In this summary ADP presents the top 10 findings of our Global Study of Engagement, a world-wide survey of engagement across nineteen countries.

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Download the report to discover the overall level of engagement around the world, the most powerful drivers of engagement, and learn which actions and rituals are most likely to create highly engaged workers. Click here to read the Technical Report.


What’s the impact of these lies

The result of these virtually universal practices is that individuality is lost in workplaces, or at least, hidden.

But (y)our uniqueness is not a flaw to be ground down; it’s the raw material for all healthy, ethical, thriving (service) organizations. This book is a plea for getting back to the local and the “weird” and the human at (service) work—and some approaches to help us do that.

Nine Lies about work

A Freethinking Leader’s Guide

 My thoughts

I consider Nine Lies About Work very refreshing and an eye-opener in deconstructing obsolete concepts that big and medium sized organizations still use. Using these 9 cliches and the inherent simplification and/or misunderstanding, they severely and negatively impact customer and employee experience and – even at the national scale – productivity.

As I read, I realized – and it is also stated by the authors- that these lies are a result of any entity’s need for control. But as stated before by me, one might wonder if any entity can control people and threat them as essentially interchangeable.
The rise of the service (and digital) economy weakens even more the relevance of the 9 concepts – as I believe – in the service economy encounters prevail relationships.

As a professional you know how good you are.

Work doesn’t.

Let’s fix that

About Marcus Buckingham

Marcus Buckingham is a global researcher and thought leader focused on unlocking strengths, increasing performance and pioneering the future of how people work. Building on nearly two decades of experience as a Senior Researcher at Gallup Organization, he currently guides the vision of ADP Research Institute as Head of People + Performance research. He founded The Marcus Buckingham Company in 2006 with a clear mission: to instigate a “strengths revolution.” It started, as all revolutions do, with the simplest of ideas: that when people spend the majority of each day on the job using their greatest talents and engaged in their favorite tasks, basically doing exactly what they want to do, both they and their organizations will win.

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About Ashley Goodall

Ashley Goodall is the SVP of Leadership and Team Intelligence at Cisco and the author of the new book, Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World. Prior to Cisco, Ashley spent 14 years at Deloitte where he worked in several roles, including Director and Chief Learning Officer, Leadership Development.

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