After nearly two years of dedicated writing, Todd Davis, Victoria Roos Olsson, and I recently published a new book for FranklinCovey titled Everyone Deserves a Great Manager: The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team.
I wanted to share two thoughts in this blog post, in order of importance:
First, the three of us would like to specifically thank Meg Hackett, FranklinCovey’s head writer, for her unwavering patience and dedication to this manuscript. Every published writer has a superb partner whose name isn’t on the cover with them, and Meg is ours. Meg possesses wisdom beyond her years (she’s young compared to us three) and persevered through many challenges we will never share with our readers. Meg, we truly value and appreciate you. We’d also like to thank our muse, Leigh Stevens. Partnering with Meg every step of the way, Leigh was invaluable in helping us take this book from an initial idea (and not a very good one at that) and marshaling our experiences and insights into a cogent book that could actually benefit a real, employed manager.
To Meg and Leigh (and no offense to my co-authors), this book happened because of the two of you, not the three of us.
Second, as an author, you are really writing three books: one in print, a second one in digital form, and a third, entirely separate version in audio. Because audiobooks are on a steep rise in popularity, there’s robust debate about whether the actual author(s) should read their own. Typically your editor/publisher makes that decision, and in this case, all three of us played a role in that process. When you’re in the studio reading the book (long after it’s gone to print and too late to make any changes), you typically uncover an endless list of horrifying changes you are desperate to make—which you can’t.
That didn’t happen to me with this book. In fact, it was the opposite; I learned so much about my management/leadership style from reading it out loud in the studio.
All three authors collaborated on the entire manuscript, but practically we each took the lead on areas that reflected our own passions. Victoria clearly owns Chapter/Practice 6 (Manage Your Time and Energy) and Todd led out on Chapter/Practice 4 (Create a Culture of Feedback).
I was in the studio reading Chapter 4 when I had a real-life professional epiphany. One of the brands I’ve created for myself in my career is that I really value and seek feedback. In fact, most people who work with me would agree I solicit a high amount of feedback. I’m frequently asking my colleagues to critique my most recent podcast, column, or keynote speech. Factually speaking, I do ask for a lot of feedback. Therefore many might think I’m fairly good at accepting feedback. Well, read page 97, and I’ll be pretty much exposed as a fraud in the feedback realm. Among many significant contributions to this chapter, Todd developed The 6 Most Common Responses to Feedback found on pages 96-98. They are sobering.
Because I actually may want to stay employed, I won’t confess more—other than I’ve met #4, pretty intimately. When I read the chapter on The Poser out loud, I had to catch my breath, because I think it described me in piercingly accurate detail. Read the book, and if you’re honest with yourself, you can have your own epiphany. Todd doesn’t mean for this part to be anything other than valuable, so read it as such. Which profile are you?
- The Excuse Maker
- The Over-reactor
- The Perfectionist
- The Poser
- The Emoter
- The Mature Improver
Succinctly, Todd describes the Poser as “the person who will listen, usually agree with you—and then never change. They have the appearance of receiving feedback well, in fact, they will often solicit it—but then go right back to what they were doing before. They’re so ingrained in who they are that nothing changes. Posers are good people but usually, only want reinforcing feedback. So they are continually seeking praise under the guise of asking for feedback.”
You might be asking yourself, didn’t Scott read the book he co-wrote? Yep, I did—multiple times. But for some reason, this just hit me square between the eyes in the recording studio. What’s my real motive in asking for feedback? Am I truly soliciting input for improvement? Or merely validation.
You’ve got to read this book. Wish I had 20 years ago.
A practical must-read, FranklinCovey’s Everyone Deserves a Great Manager is an essential guide for the millions of people all over the world, making the challenging and rewarding leap to management.
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