Take A Look InsideHere is an overview of the contents of the book
Why I wrote this book, how to use it, why I feel so passionately about it, the evidence it is based on, my own experience of mid-career malfunction, and what I failed to do about it.
Part 1: Diagnosis
- The top-down pressure. How senior leaders in the business cause problems.
- Pressure from below. What more junior people are looking for from us
- Pressure from the side. The conflicts of working in a matrix. How our peers add to the problem
- External pressure. The economy, political uncertainty, housing market, ageing population, customer demands, pace of change, dysfunctional human behaviour, intrusion of technology, Artificial Intelligence threatening jobs, Millennials.
- The wrong tools. Wrong processes, overload of info so you can never find what you want, arse covering, performance management processes which do not work, compliance game playing.
Part 2: Boost your mojo!
The top 10 techniques developed and road tested over 18 years of on-the-job research
1. Recalibrate your compass. Defining a ‘Why’ for yourself and the team, how to understand where you fit and what the priorities are, setting team goals.
2. Build more trust. Why trust is so weak, how this impacts us, why trust is the first part of win/win, how to build it (CORE model), controlled disclosure and vulnerability concept, how you need to set time aside for it and plan it.
3. Get out of the playground. What Parents, Adults and Children look like at work, how we can inadvertently create Parents and Children, what to do when others treat us as Children, how to get Parents to become Adults.
4. Invest in relationships. What you need to know in order to do your job well, how to have a constructive 1:1 with your boss, sharing personality profiles and how to use that information, proposing meaningful and motivating objectives, know what information to share and how. Invest time on key players. Empathy, humanity, Emotional Intelligence, coaching and helping others to be their best.
5. Negotiate more. Why we need to say no, why we don’t (our mental limits), how to say it without damaging the relationship, how to turn it into a negotiation using creativity, use of the ‘IF’ word, nothing for nothing, work out your assertiveness level, how doing it well builds relationships.
6. Avoid avoidance. How to find Win/Win by exposing shared interests and needs, seeking first to understand, slowing down your response, what to do if it becomes emotional, why Avoidance is usually a bad idea, understanding your conflict handling preference (Thomas Kilmann model).
7. Listen more, transmit less. How information is power, how to use this when negotiating, great questions to ask to help you understand others’ positions, how to use this to resolve conflict, how it builds empathy, the power of silence, how this is welcomed by Introverts
8. Think! Getting more done by slowing down, things to check at the beginning, the importance of Process, how to help others not to go down the wrong road, great questions to ask.
9. Meet intelligently. The amount of time wasted by them, no agenda = no meeting, how to build an agenda that works, minutes and clear action planning, how to continuously improve meetings, recognising when to facilitate and not have an opinion, how to produce clarity and focus for discussion.
10. Know yourself. Myers Briggs preferences, and how they impact the way you see the world and function at work. Reading and respecting others’ preferences, rapport, how what you think good looks like will not be the same for others, how to respect and adapt to Introversion or Extraversion.
This section ends with a call to action and a reminder that it could be NOW or NEVER, and the only person able to decide that is the reader.
Part 3: New engine
Perhaps your career-engine really has got beyond repair, and needs replacing. This section of the book encourages the reader who has come to this conclusion to take the necessary action. It encourages them to weigh up the risks and benefits using a decision-making matrix, and to make a plan which sets out some small steps which will initiate the journey. Helping the reader to get started and to overcome their own inhibiting beliefs may prove a turning point from which they never look back.
In this section I draw on my own experience of coaching people in this situation, and also share my story of what I went through whilst I prevaricated for 5 years over this decision.
Part 4. Maintenance
In this section I talk about how some attitudes and beliefs which support the smooth running of the engine (the career mojo). I also suggest best practice in continuing to grow, learn and make the most of what life has to offer at work.
A summary of the key points, a reminder that it takes 27 conscious applications of a technique for it to turn into habit, suggestions on how to make this the start and not the end, and a final call to action.