Business isn’t a machine that runs like clockwork. I’m a big proponent of making a detailed business blueprint before you get started, but even with the best planning we need to account for the unaccountable. For human behaviour, human habits, and, most importantly, human error. And the role of human behaviour in business is exactly what this week’s Hardcore MBA guest, Tom Rath, researches and writes about. On top of that, his book StrengthsFinder 2.0 was so good that it became the top-selling book on Amazon in the year 2013.
In this week’s podcast, Tom and I discuss:
- The importance of prioritising your health and your sleep, rather than working yourself to the point of burnout – it’s better for your body and your business.
- The use of daily habits to reduce the fatigue we can feel when faced by an overwhelming number of choices.
- And Tom’s move into documentary films and the need to send ideas out into the world using all the media available to us.
Tom tells me “we once did a survey in which we asked people if their manager primarily focuses on their strengths or their weaknesses, to find out which management style is more effective. But quite a lot of the respondents actually said ‘my manager just doesn’t pay any attention to me’. So we started to dig deeper, and found that being ignored by your boss in this way is actually worse for performance than having someone focus on your weaknesses. Among people who had managers that paid no attention, as many as 4 out of 10 were chronically disengaged from their work – and with those kinds of statistics, you can’t expect to run an effective business.”
So if you are going to run an effective business – and I hope that’s your aim – you need to hear what Tom has to say about how to keep yourself and your employees motivated. After you’ve listened to this week’s Hardcore MBA, check out his books on Amazon, including StrengthsFinder 2.0 and his new book Are You Fully Charged?, which is released today; and keep your eyes open for his documentary, which will be out in a few months.