The world of work, today, is overflowing with ideas and assumptions, and systems and tools built on them, that aren’t quite right—and that push directly against our ability and opportunity to express what is unique about each of us in the work we do every day. It’s not true, for example, that people care most which company they work for. Or that the best people are well rounded. Or that leadership is a thing. These ideas are by now so commonplace and ingrained that they are hard to see for what they really are. But as Mark Twain said, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure, that just ain’t so.”
Look closely at work today, and you’ll discover a great deal that just ain’t so. We could call these things “misconceptions,” or “myths”, or even “misunderstandings,” but because they are pushed so hard at us, almost as if there is motive behind them steering us away from the world as it truly is, we’ll call them “Lies.”
Ashley Goodall is co-author, with Marcus Buckingham, of Harvard Business Press’s prescription for the world of talent in the 21st century, entitled Nine Lies About Work. In this session, he will introduce each of the lies before exploring in depth perhaps the most damaging of them all—the idea that Leadership is a Thing. And he’ll share instead a view of leadership from the real world, and what we can learn from it.