It’s been years since I read the terrific book by Gail Evans, Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman: (What Men know About Success that Women Need to Learn). But this week, I presented my synopsis of this book at the first Take Your Brian To Lunch program. (Congratulations to our blogging team members, Cheryl Jensen and Sara Smith, for their success in the launch of this event, focused on issues of women in business).
As I took a fresh look at this book, something hit me in a new way. We all know the adage, “do what you love, and the money will follow.” (By the way, I’m not really sure I have ever entirely believed this. After all, I love eating Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla, but I have not figured out a way to get rich doing so…) But some quotes from Evans’ book really got me to thinking. Here are the quotes:
The ultimate winner in the game of business is not necessarily the person with the most power or the most money or the most fame. Rather, it’s the person who loves his or her work. Loving what you do is self-empowering.
If you can’t keep finding ways to maintain your enthusiasm for your job, you’re going to get flat.
Gail Evans is certainly concerned with financial rewards for women. But the book is about that, and so much more. It is about standing, her place in the (corporate) world, her influence. And it hit me. If you don’t love what you do, the people around you will know that, and then you have no credibilty (what Aristotle called ethos). You cannot be a thought leader, a pace setter, if you have no passion for your work. You have to love what you do to have such passion — to develop, and maintain, ethos. To actually have a position and reputation of influence, you have to matter (in a business sense, not just a personal sense) to those around you. And this means to matter to those around you, in the sense that your leadership, your ideas, your thoughts, your very presence, matters.
So — if you think that you do not have enough influence, maybe you are in the wrong arena. Because if you truly love what you do, there’s a pretty good chance that influence will follow.
• You can order the synopses of my original presentation of Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman, and also of the book Women Don’t Ask, which I also presented at the Take Your Brain to Lunch event, at our companion web site, 15 Minute Business Books.
Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow
As Chip Conley explains in the Preface, “This book is about the miracle of human potential: employees living up to their full potential in the workplace, customers feeling the potential bliss associated with having their unrecognized needs met, and investors feeling fulfilled by seeing the potential of their capital leveraged.” I agree with him that all great leaders know how to tap into this “potential” and actualize it into reality.” Moreover, I also agree with Conley that great leadership can – and should – be found at all levels and in all areas of an organization.
So, what motivations do people need to achieve peak performance, especially in collaboration with others? In this volume, Conley responds to that question, suggesting that there are many valuable lessons to be learned from Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs.” For present purposes, it can be abbreviated as follows: Survival, Security, and Self-Actualization. Conley offers a step-by-step process to build a great company by fulfilling these three separate but interdependent needs. After acknowledging Maslow’s influence on his thinking (and in process explaining Mallow’s core concepts) in Part One (Chapters 1-3), he examines three “relationship truths.” In Chapters 4-6, he explains how to create base motivation, loyalty, and trust for employees. In Chapters 7-9, he explains how to create satisfaction, commitment, and “evangelistic” fervor for customers. And then in Chapters 10-12, he explains how to create trust, confidence, and pride of ownership for investors. In Part Five (Chapters 13 and 14), Conley explains how to coordinate the three separate but interrelated “relationship truths” to create a “self-actualized life” for each of those involved. Although that may prove to be an unrealistic goal, it is worthy of pursuit nonetheless. Whereas a mountain has a finite height, Maslow’s pyramid does not. No individual and no organization can ever become fully actualized. There will always be room for improvement because achieving one goal creates opportunities to achieve others. Revealingly, Conley describes himself as a Himalayan Sherpa who guides his reader to up to the summits of Nepal or Tibet. What he implies is that his role has another, in my view more important function: To guide his readers to insights that will enable her or him to chart a proper course when embarked on a never-ending journey from one peak performance to the next.
Comments? Please share.
We are very fortunate to have Bob Morris as such a frequent contributor on our blogging team. (In fact, he writes more than the rest of us combined). He is a rapid provider of quality content. He reads constantly, and then he gives his best thoughts on what he read, and then asks follow up questions in interviews with many of the authors. How valuable is he? Here’s what Seth Godin had to say:
Some critics matter. (Your biggest customer, for example). Some are merely loud. Others are just difficult.
After naming one New York Times critic that is not helpful, in Godin’s opinion, he then writes this about Robert (Bob) Morris
Robert Morris is a useful guide for people in search of good books. He’s reviewed nearly 2,000 books and received almost 25,000 helpful votes for his reviews on Amazon. If he likes your book, you’re going to sell more copies–not because he liked it, but because his thorough review lets other people decide if they want to buy it or not.
If you read Godin’s post carefully, you get a hint as to why Bob has become so valuable. Godin describes the NY Times critic as “a cranky hack. She reviews popular fiction and non-fiction, and as best I can tell, she likes neither very much.”
That’s the line. “She likes neither very much.” Bob, on the other hand, loves to read. He loves to find authors that provide valuable insight, and valuable tools, for the rest of us. Bob is a book lover. And a book lover is a more valuable guide when it comes to finding valuable books.
I have sensed this same thing about movie critics. Without naming names, some critics quickly disappeared from my radar years ago because I sensed that they did not really like movies. Roger Ebert, my favorite movie critic, loves movies. You can tell he loves movies. (And occasionally, when he does not like a certain type of movie, he reveals that up-front in his reviews to that we will know that this may not be as objective as his other reviews). You can find all of Ebert’s reviews archived at his web site.
Back to Bob – he loves books, and he loves helping us find valuable books and insights — thus he is truly a critic who matters. And we are fortunate to have him on our blogging team. And we are all fortunate to read his wonderful insights.
Bob’s Amazon page, the entry into all of his Amazon reviews, is here.