Monday, January 5, 2009

The Invisible Foe

The typical New Year quest to improve and to go places brought me to read a summary of the book, What Got You Here Won't Get You There. For the last while I've felt like I'm struggling for advancement and harmony with others against an invisible foe. This book suggests that this foe might be.....me.

Okay, I'll try it. Fortunately, thanks to Soundview Executive Summaries, the summary was only 8 pages so I didn't have to endure too much criticism. It was easy to convert the 20 "bad" habits from problem to solution so rather than being doomed, I felt I could DO something about it.

Over the holidays I tried out 4 of the 20 recommended behaviors and noticed an immediate reduction in friction and boost in my relationships. I also noticed that when I didn't use the recommendation, things didn't go as smoothly.

Based on this small pilot, I'm committing to work on 4 behaviors in 09. Though the book recommends only selecting one, there's a lot of low hanging fruit here.

1. Make other people winners. Say "Great idea!" with no "buts" and no "I already knew that."
2. Treat every idea that comes my way from another person with complete neutrality. Say only "Thank you" or "Thanks, I hadn't considered that."
3. Apologize.
4. Share the wealth of credit by examining every time I think I've achieved something and asking myself who else might also deserve the credit.

WGYHWGYT concludes that the invisible foe is really our obsession with achieving a goal or pleasing the boss rather than being focused on people. This suggests that some more work might need to be done on the root itself.

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