I think it’s because of my work. Through sheer blind luck (shbluck, I like to call it; say it three times really fast – shbluck shbluck shbluck; there, I believe I’ve just remotely dislocated your tongue :p), I happened to get my first job promoting what are essentially good management practices. I’m still doing it, though how much of that is by active choice and how much of that is by virtue of my absolute stuck-ness in my comfort zone is anyone’s guess.
I think it’s because of my work that I got into reading management books. Some I read a bit and stopped, uninterested. Some I read and liked. The first was Jim Collins‘ Good to Great. A couple of Marcus Buckingham‘s early books come to mind.* Ram Charan I’ve enjoyed.
I think it’s because of my work that I came across Erika Andersen‘s Growing Great Employees, and, if that is so, that I really really love my work. I couldn’t put it down: the gardening analogy; the super-useful models; the humour, self-deprecating and witty; the conversations, especially those between well-meaning manager and eager-to-learn report; the conversations, with dialogue so real and rich with good intentions that I teared at the last one, when the manager announced he was leaving the company and was going to recommend that his report take over his position. Sure, the conversations were meant to show the reader how the models could be put into practice, but during the all-too-short learning jaunt reading the book, the conversations were what I turned the pages for. I didn’t want the book to end because of the conversations.
Not that the book wasn’t useful, or enlightening. In fact, I’m going to bring it to work with me tomorrow, and park it right next to my dictionary.
*I wonder what his relationship with Gallup is now.