This book is the best I've read to date on managing and leading teams of people through creating a culture of high performance. I found it so intriguiThis book is the best I've read to date on managing and leading teams of people through creating a culture of high performance. I found it so intriguing and highly practical as well.
The premise is that WHY you work affects how WELL you work. Which is so obvious. But there are 6 main motivators for why we work -- 3 direct (good) and 3 indirect (not so good). And the authors detail a formula they have come up with to measure the total motivation (TOMO) of your team. I ran both of my teams through the online survey and the results were very helpful in knowing areas I can work on improving their context (work environment, roles, etc.) so that overall performance improves.
A few take-aways that I want to remember:
"Managers don't kill creativity on purpose. Yet in the pursuit of productivity, efficiency and control, it is undermined."
If a job requires adaptive performance (problem solving), indirect motives can make performance worse because they create pressure and distraction from the work itself.
Two conditions are required for high-performing, adaptive organizations: 1. Individual members must be adaptive 2. The organization must encourage citizenship. Citizens teach and help one another spread ideas, and share innovations.
Our actions are actually much more influenced by our context than by our values, beliefs and upbringing.
The Blame Bias -- Even when the situation makes one outcome far more likely than the others, we still believe the individual is to blame. And the more removed we are from someone, the more likely we are to blame them.
We spend so much energy on hiring the right players and then underestimate the influence of our culture on them once they arrive. We need to focus more on changing our culture (their context) than on changing them.
A better way to give feedback as a manager that will help eliminate your own blame-bias: the REAP model of feedback: Remember -- Assume positive intent Explain -- Come up with 5 possible explanations that don't blame the individual Ask -- Approach and inquire by observation without blame Plan -- Identify the root cause of behavior together and make a plan to remedy it.
Ahh! This is only some of what I got out of this book. I have a feeling I'll be coming back to my notes on this one again and again. It's a lot to think about and digest!...more
This book was ok. It was an easy read, so I'll give it that. It was written in a fable format, so there was a lot of extra fluff to get through to theThis book was ok. It was an easy read, so I'll give it that. It was written in a fable format, so there was a lot of extra fluff to get through to the few main points this book communicated.
For my own purposes of remembering what I got out of this book, here are the three steps to creating raving fans:
1. Decide what you want: Create a vision of perfection centered on the customer. What would it look like for your customer to be successfully using your product or service? 2. Discover what the customer wants and alter your vision if need be. 3. Deliver the vision plus one percent (always work on improving and altering as need be).
A few other favorite quotes:
"The worst thing you can do is meet expectations one time, fall short another, and exceed every now and then. I guarantee you'll drive your customers nuts and into the hands of the competition first chance they get."
"When a customer complains, you know you're hearing the truth. Listen to him. When a customer is a Raving Fan and is enthusiastic, listen to him too. But when a customer is silent or says 'Fine' with a smile, you have to really perk up your ears. You've got a problem. If nothing else, that customer isn't a Raving Fan."
I enjoyed this book that shared yet another window into a little known tragedy of WWII -- this one in Prussia and on board the Wilhelm Gustloff -- theI enjoyed this book that shared yet another window into a little known tragedy of WWII -- this one in Prussia and on board the Wilhelm Gustloff -- the greatest maritime loss in history. It is told through the perspective of 4 young people, alternating between the 4 chapter by chapter. It really was brilliantly written, but I had to pay close attention to which character I was reading, otherwise it became a bit confusing at times. Very sad story overall, but recommended for those who enjoy WWII historical fiction...more
I really enjoyed this book. In it, the author discusses the limitations and failures of modern medicine in the face of our inevitable aging and death.I really enjoyed this book. In it, the author discusses the limitations and failures of modern medicine in the face of our inevitable aging and death. Modern medicine in the last 50 years has allowed us to live longer, but its priority is often limited to preserving safety and protection, with little concern for the priorities of allowing that extended life to be one of worth, purpose, and autonomy, as defined by the patient. And we have allowed the medical field to largely define how we live in our final days. As the author writes: "Our most cruel failure in how we treat the sick and the aged is the failure to recognize that they have priorities beyond merely being safe and living longer; that the chance to shape one's story is essential to sustaining meaning in life."
I found this discussion fascinating and really enjoyed hearing the author's ideas for how we can reshape our institutions, our culture, and our conversations in ways that would provide the elderly and dying with more autonomy to shape their story and create the most worth out of their final days. He included a number of stories and examples of how this is currently being done well that offer hope for more change to come.
A couple quotes I want to remember for myself:
"At least two kinds of courage are required in aging and sickness. The first is the courage to confront the reality of mortality -- the courage to seek out the truth of what is to be feared and what is to be hoped. Such courage is difficult enough. We have many reasons to shrink from it. But even more daunting is the second kind of courage -- the courage to act on the truth we find."
"Whenever serious sickness or injury strikes and your body or mind breaks down, the vital questions are the same: What is your understanding of the situation and its potential outcomes? What are your fears and what are your hopes? What are the trade-offs you are willing to make and not willing to make? (What type of debilitations or limitations are you willing to live with in order to extend your life longer?) and what is the course of action that best serves this understanding?"
Definitely an interesting conversation on a tough topic! I'm so glad I read this book!
I could not put this book down. It was written by a 37 year old neurosurgeon in his last year of life as he battles stage IV lung cancer. Throughout hI could not put this book down. It was written by a 37 year old neurosurgeon in his last year of life as he battles stage IV lung cancer. Throughout his memoir, Kalanithi grapples with the question of what gives life meaning -- from the perspective of a naive medical student, to a doctor coming along-side patients and their families, and finally was a patient facing death himself. Profoundly moving and highly recommended....more
I very much enjoyed this author's writing style. This book was a fun read and harkened back for me to a more simple time of story-telling and characteI very much enjoyed this author's writing style. This book was a fun read and harkened back for me to a more simple time of story-telling and character development. I did enjoy it, but I'm not sure it will be very memorable for me....more
I feel a little bad giving this book only 2 stars after seeing all of my friends' reviews, but "it was ok" was honestly the feeling I was left with afI feel a little bad giving this book only 2 stars after seeing all of my friends' reviews, but "it was ok" was honestly the feeling I was left with after reading this book. For me it was overly sad without much redemption, much too long for what was communicated, and although I kept hoping the ending would be cathartic, it did not deliver. I understand that WWII was a huge tragedy, but I guess for me, this one was just too hard to read and too sad. ...more
I wish I would have known more about this book before I started reading it. I didn't realize it would have so much graphic sexual content, and then byI wish I would have known more about this book before I started reading it. I didn't realize it would have so much graphic sexual content, and then by the time I did, I needed to finish it to find out what happened. If I had known this up front, I wouldn't have read it.
This is yet another EXTREMELY sad WWII historical fiction novel without a lot of redemption. I also felt myself often startled and surprised by the relationship developments in the novel, I think because I pictured the characters differently in age and physical appearance than the author ended up developing them (after I had a picture of them in my head). It's hard to explain, but I feel like the character development wasn't done exceptionally well and my expectations were not managed.
I do like the premise of this book and enjoyed having a view on what the war might have been like from the perspective of a German woman, but I just wish it wasn't so sexually graphic and troubling....more