Leadership & Self-Deception

I cannot recommend a book more than this one.

leadership and self deception

 

I was introduced to it at work as a book that would help me be a better leader/manager.  I’ve got a long way to go, but it has had a huge impact on my approach to people at work.  In addition, there have been several times where my wife and I have relied on its concepts in how we see, relate to, discipline, and love our 5 children.  But that’s for another entry 🙂

80:20 Rule

FROM WIKIPEDIA:

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.[1][2]

Business-management consultant Joseph M. Juran suggested the principle and named it after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed in 1906 that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population; he developed the principle by observing that 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained 80% of the peas.[2]

So, what does this have to do with the book?

I don’t know if the ratio is really 80:20, but I’ve observed in my career and in dozens of others that how we see and treat others has more to do with our personal success than the oft-lauded ‘harder’ skill sets that are taught in MBA programs.  You look at the typical coursework of an MBA and north of 80% of it focuses on business knowledge (finance, accounting, strategy, operations, statistics, etc.)  Let’s put the 20% in the PEOPLE MANAGING, SELF-MANAGEMENT, LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, HR categories.  Based on my experience (in healthcare management) for general managers, healthcare administrators, you spend your time and your success is determined by those weakly taught soft/people skills.

leadership and self deception

L&SD teaches, powerfully, why and how we so easily ruin important relationships.  Buy it.  Read it.  Then, like me, read it again.  Every time I do I see my warts, imperfections, and I can better repair damaged relationships that not only allow me to be more effective but also allows the other person to advance.

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The Speed of Trust

This is not a book review.

The Speed of Trust is a superbly TITLED book.

The writing itself was a bit too predictable, formulaic, and fluffy for my personal tastes.  I understand FranklinCovey is having success teaching its principles and I don’t mean to disparage the concepts or ideas expressed at all.  Just the opposite.  I believe deeply in what the title of the book, Speed of Trust, means to relationships and organizations.

Think about it in your own life.  I recently did.  Check out the quick back and forth between me and my wife about choosing a family photo to purchase from a recent family photo shoot.  Start from the bottom.

Thoughts?

Here’s how I see this exchange, through the speed of trust lens:

  • Even in the mundane communication(s), love is expressed, setting a positive, supportive, sincere tone.
  • My reply was honest and I thought it would be fun to have the kids ‘vote.’
  • Her response was SPEEEEEDY.  Cut to the chase.  No fluff.  No framing.  No setting the table.  No positioning statements.  Just her true, actual opinion.
How valuable, how precious to an organization or team or relationship to have true, actual, authentic, unfiltered, un-sugar-coated opinions and dialogue?!
If our relationship lacked trust, her response would’ve been very different.  And it would’ve been longer.  Maybe a little something like this …

You know, I really like the idea of printing them out.  I wish I could figure out how to do that myself.  Would you be able to do that for me this evening?  I wish I was as good with computers as you are [read: flattery leading up to a soft disapproval of your opinion to soften the blow] …. as far as the kids voting goes.  I love the idea.  On the one hand it could be really fun to see the differences in how they see the family.  On the other hand it might not turn out exactly as you/we might think/hope it would.  What do you think?  I could possibly see Caleb choosing the opposite of Madi just to be different.  You know what I mean?  I don’t know.  Maybe we can talk about it more tonight before dinner when you get home.  Maybe we could limit it or make it a blind test somehow so they don’t know which one they’re picking.  I don’t know.  You know?  I’d hate to see something that’s a positive possibly turn into a negative.  But, I love the idea of printing them out.  Can you do that for me from work or do you have to be home for that?  Thanks!

xoxoxoxoxoxoxox 

Now multiply the difference in the authenticity and speed of the response by the number of times you communicate as a team in department head meetings, in emails, in 1:1s and you come to realize just how critical it is to MAKE time to develop the trust as individuals and as a team.  A couple of books that I use and highly recommend to others (a lot less textbook feeling than Speed of Trust) are:

Leadership & Self-Deception (best for 1:1 relationship trust repairing/building)

5 Dysfunctions of a Team (best for team trust/dynamics issues)