Growing Great Employees

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 CollinsGood 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.


Author: lichone

Ethics by Enid Blyton; physique by deep-fried things. I think we all have an instinct to tell stories and to build things and relationships,

4 thoughts on “Growing Great Employees”

  1. Dear Lichone,

    This may be my very favorite response to my book I’ve ever read, up to and including the positive summary in the Harvard business Review. Thank you!!

    And now I find I also really like all your other posts, so I’m putting you on my blog roll…

    Hope you like the conversations in my new book, as well! (coming out in May).


  2. Dear Erika,

    Thanks so much for your kind words about my blog. I’m glad you enjoyed my comments about Growing Great Employees. It’s rare we readers get to tell authors we like how much we like their work, so I just have to add to my appreciative words about the conversations: On one level, they worked like a page-turner, just extremely engaging. On another level, in terms of showing us readers what a model can be like in practice, they represent just an extremely effective teaching tool. Can’t say enough good things about them!

    I hope your work keeps you happy, learning and in the flow. All the best.

    Warm regards,
    Li Chuan

    P/S. I certainly do look forward to reading your new book.

    PP/S. Okay, this may come across as brusque and inappropriate, but I will try it anyway, with the best of intentions – I do think you may be interested in this event, and I feel the event would benefit from your participation.

    My colleagues are organising the Singapore Human Capital Summit, an event centred on the theme of “People Strategies for Asia”. The event will be held in Singapore on 22-24 October 2008, and it features top business leaders, some well-known names in HR academia (e.g. Dave Ulrich, Edward Lawler) and research by Gallup and Hewitt.

    Please take a look at the event web site here: I personally think it’s an amazing gathering of thought and business leaders. If it is something you are indeed interested in, please let me know, and I’ll see if I can arrange for a pass or two – no promises. And if it’s something your clients may be interested, please also let me know – I can forward a more aesthetically pleasing email through which you can inform them of this event.

  3. Marcus Buckingham is an independent consultant now. I am not sure how he got away by using Gallup’s model to make money for his own company. His latest book titled “Go, Put your strengths to work – Six powerful steps to achieve outstanding performance” would give you a glimpse on what he is offering in his consultancy company.

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