Published October 20, 2020

Ep 081: Lies About Work, Marcus Buckingham & Kim Simios

As a leader, you’ve likely received training about the importance of company culture, strategic planning and feedback. Training on the implementation of these leadership tools has become essential for every leader. But researcher, Marcus Buckingham says, “Wait.” Based on his observations about the real world of work and multiple research studies, he began to question some of the most venerated truisms of business, daring to suggest the key to organizational success actually happens on the team level. In this fascinating conversation with business leader, Kim Simios, Marcus unpacks three of his “nine lies about work” and explains how you can become more human in the ways you manage people while at the same time increase productivity and engagement.

 

Show Notes

SUMMARY:

As a leader, you’ve likely received training about the importance of company culture, strategic planning and feedback. Training on the implementation of these leadership tools has become essential for every leader. But researcher, Marcus Buckingham says, “Wait.” Based on his observations about the real world of work and multiple research studies, he began to question some of the most venerated truisms of business, daring to suggest the key to organizational success actually happens on the team level. In this fascinating conversation with business leader, Kim Simios, Marcus unpacks three of his “nine lies about work” and explains how you can become more human in the ways you manage people while at the same time increase productivity and engagement.

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • We’ve been trying for the last 100 years to get more productivity out of people. However, per person productivity growth around the globe has been anemicexperiencing less than 1% growth since 1972. 
  • The productivity outcomes data suggests that we have made some wrong assumptions. 
  • The fundamental problem with many of our management processes is that they are aimed to make people less individual, less idiosyncratic and less unique.  
  • Lie: People Care Which Company They Work For / Truth: People Care About Which Team They Are On 
  • The data shows that “culture” is a madeup thing.  
  • People’s experience within a given company varies significantly.  
  • People’s experience on a team is much more predictive of their behavior. 
  • The best leaders build great teams. 
  • As a team leader, your most important job is not to satisfy the client. Your most important job is to build a high- performing team. And if you do that, you will satisfy the client.  
  • The best team leaders checkin with their people every single week and ask two questions: 1) What are your priorities?” and 2) “How can I help? 
  • Lie: The Best Plan Wins/ Truth: The Best Intelligence Wins 
  • The more time you spend planning, the less your plans work. The world changes while you are putting together the plan. 
  • General Stan McCrystal saw it as his primary jobnot to plan–but to ensure his frontline people had the intelligence they needed to act.  
  • Lie: People Want Feedback/ Truth: People Want Attention 
  • Feedback sends the brain into a fight-or-flight pattern and the learning brain vanishes. 
  • Instead of feedback, team leaders should 1) substitute their reaction for feedback and 2) react most powerfully to what is working. 
  • Team leaders should use “good job” as the beginning of a performance conversation.  
  • As a team leader, your reaction to what works is the most important catalyst for future high performance. 

 

 

 

REFLECTION QUESTIONS:

  1. In this podcast, MarcusBuckingham challenged three commonly held beliefs about work. Before listening to this podcast, which of these did you believe? 
    • People Care Which Company They Work For 
    • The Best Plan Wins 
    • People Want Feedback 

 

  1. Why do you think these have become common beliefs for so many leaders? 

 

  1. In what ways has this conversation changed your thoughts about these common beliefs? 

 

  1. Throughout the conversation, Marcus suggested that the most important productivity and engagement levers exist on the team level,specifically the weekly check-in with every employee. What is one thing you could do this week to improve or implement your weekly check-in plan?  

 

 

RESOURCES MENTIONED:

EY (Ernst & Young) 

Patagonia 

Chick-filA 

Willow Creek Community Church 

Deloitte 

Accenture 

McKinsey & Co. 

McDonalds 

General Stanley McChrystal 

Bridgewater Investments 

Ray Dalio 

Snapchat 

fMRIs 

Table Stakes 

 

RELATED LINKS:

Marcus Buckingham 

2020 GLS Talk, How the Best Leaders Build Resilience (Video) 

2020 GLS Talk, How the Best Leaders Build Resilience (Notes) 

9 Lies About Work: A Free-Thinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World 

Kim Simios 

Ernst & Young 

Paula Faris 

Journeys of Faith with Paula Faris 

The Global Leadership Summit

 

 

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