Exerpt from the book “Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World“
Team matters more than the company
Local experiences – how we interact with immediate colleagues – trumps company and uniform ‘culture’ every time. When people choose not to work somewhere, that somewhere is not the company but the team.
Plans rarely work
In the real world, change happens fast. The reality is that most plans, especially those created in large organisations, are overly generalised, quickly obsolete and frustrating to those asked to execute them. It’s better to coordinate your team’s efforts in real time, relying on the informed, detailed intelligence of each unique team member.
Goals are useful but they are not “work”
Goals are about stimulating the performance of your people in the right direction. The problem is, in the real world there is stuff to be done. Work is work, goals are not.
Negative feedback is not useful
The truth is that people need attention and when you give it to them in a safe and non-judgemental environment, they stay and play and work. Yes, feedback is attention, and research shows even negative feedback has some positive impact over no feedback. But negative feedback doesn’t enable learning, in fact it inhibits learning.
We are not able to rate other people’s performance
In the real world, none of the employers’ rating methods work, people cannot reliably rate other people, as copious research shows. Everyone displays their own rating pattern. The rating you get tells you more about the rating pattern of your manager than about your performance.
Balancing life-work should not be needed
Balance work-life is just a coping strategy. Love-in-work is what you should strive for. This is not finding work you love, it is the skill of finding love in what you do.
Leadership cannot be measured
There is not a particular set of qualities that leaders have. Leadership isn’t a thing, because it cannot be measured reliably. The currency of leadership and followership is human interaction and relationships.