As a leader, do you believe people like working for you? One of the things I wrote about in Joy, Inc. is how books and authors have influenced my thinking over the years. During the time in my career when I began to sense trouble brewing, I turned to authors. Peter Senge, Peter Drucker, Tom Peters, John Naisbitt in the earliest days. Patrick Lencioni, Marcus Buckinghamm, Bo Burlingham later along with many others.
I have always loved to read but sometimes as I begin a new book there is trepidation for me. If a book grabs me, it can change me. I wonder if my team gets a bit nervous when they hear about the latest book I am reading. When I change, the team may begin to feel it.
After a Friday workshop at Menlo, someone from the class told me that I should read the book, Leadership and Self-Deception. Much to my surprise and delight a personally purchased and inscribed book showed up in my Menlo mailbox on Monday morning.
So, I read it. This is a story everyone can relate to about a man facing challenges on the job and in his family. The authors expose the fascinating ways that we can blind ourselves to our true motivations and unwittingly sabotage the effectiveness of our own efforts to achieve success and increase happiness.
I will never be the same (I hope). I am already seeing some difference in my professional and personal life. I believe the book has already had an impact on some of my team members, but they don’t know why. The change is how I am seeing them, and they are responding. I am quicker to apologize when I offend; I am more present when listening. I see them differently now.
I know that this book was sent to me because this person believed that we were already doing a form of this at Menlo and I agree that we are. But we all have room for improvement and this book’s lessons will help.
I’m not sure yet what I will do with my new found understanding, but I can assure you this won’t be a book that simply goes up on the shelf and never revisited. It embodies so much of what we have tried to teach our team through Lencioini’s books as well as those of the VitalSmarts team in Salt Lake City. This book embodies those teachings in a way that gives us each the internal power to make change without having to wait for others to change with us.