How did I let that happen???


When you see yourself as part of the problem, you empower yourself to join the team that will do whatever it takes to solve it.

~Roger Connors and Tom Smith~ 

My team and I are doing a little “book club” during our weekly Monday morning leadership check-in meetings.  We review one chapter of the book and discuss our thoughts and how we might integrate some of the principles in our department.  We are currently reading the book How Did That Happen? by Roger Connors and Tom Smith (Authors of The Oz Principle).

I have to disclose that I am not a big reader of business books (my apologies to all of you authors out there who love to write about business principles).  My  brain is not well suited to this type of reading genre.  I tend to like novels that are quick to read and where there isn’t a need to hone in on the details or take notes to remember what I read.  With this type of wiring inside my head,  I need to focus on the key concepts and not read every word on the page and thankfully Connors and Smith highlight the key points so I can skim and capture what is being said.

I also am not a fan of leading by books.  I been around too many leaders who read a book and then want to adopt each piece into the organization whether it fits or not.  I have seen team members roll their eyes when a leader mimics everything written by the author(s) of the latest and greatest new business book comes out that is the rage of the day… the week… or the year…

Suffice it to say that I have a bookshelf full of books on leadership, team building, customer service and a Nook full of self-help, coaching, and positive psychology books that I would bet I have only read 25% of them cover to cover.  I take what I like through my skim and capture mode and if a concept really speaks to me,  I will see how I might fit it into my leadership…  my coaching skills…  and into my day-to-day life.

In skimming and capturing the first chapter of How Did That Happen,  there are a few key points that have hit home for me:

  1. Always begin with the assumption that people are doing their best and want to meet whatever expectations are set for them.  Unfortunately,  many times we look at people as having some flaw and the only way to fix it is to punish them!  That definitely doesn’t sound like a work environment that I want to be heading into every day…
  2. We need to look at ourselves as part of any problem so that we can commit to joining the team to solve any problems versus alienating the team because we move into Leadership by Fear when something is not going right.  My belief is that when we move into Leadership by Fear, we take the fight or flight approach which is not conducive to empowering others (or ourselves for that matter).
  3. Ask the question: How did I let that happen?  I love AHA moments and when I read that question, I experienced a major AHA!  How many times have any of us pointed the finger outwards versus inwards to see how a problem may have occurred?  I have to admit that it has happened to me more times than I can count on all fingers and toes.  If I start looking first at ME vs. others,  I can take action on how I might have missed the boat on something.  I can speak about ME versus blaming others… I can be accountable…

Are you an avid reader of business books?  What is your mode of absorbing the information? Are you a cover to cover reader or more like me and my skim and capture method?

What is the most recent latest and greatest book you have read?  

2 thoughts on “How did I let that happen???

  1. How to Win Friends & Influence People
    by Dale Carnegie
    I read this awhile ago but it is a good book. I should go back and read it again. I too skim alot in books.

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