Wednesday, 31 March 2010


Encouraged by a colleague I committed to reading Dan Pink’s 'Drive' over the last few days. Not really a hardship as it is superb and relevant. It seems Dan is another one of these authors (like Gladwell and Robinson) who are brilliant at pulling together old ideas and putting a new and entertaining ‘face’ on them. Pink draws heavily on George Leonard’s work on 'Mastery' (but strangely does not appear to acknowledge him). I went back to this wonderful book again and re-discovered a section in which he encourages learners to love the learning ‘plateau’ and to expect it. It struck me that helping people to enjoy the process rather than continuously striving for the final product could be a key for me in supporting them as they develop their strengths and discover new way to get them into action . As Leonard says, life for people who can do this can be ‘especially vivid and satisfying.’

Monday, 22 March 2010

Performance and Strengths

My colleagues at K2 Performance Systems have created a first class blog highlighting issues that connect elite performance in sport with the workplace. In this recent post they provide us with a simple question that captures the essence of the relationship between strengths and performance: How easily can you list your strengths? Take a look.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Sir Alex

I have never really been a lover of Manchester United and consequently Sir Alex - my brother was a fan when we were growing up so how could I be! However, it was great see him show a little humility this week when describing how the team had used Wayne Rooney poorly last season in a recent Daily Telegraph article. Asking a £30m player to play out of position for the best part of season, and leave much of his core ability under-utilised, strikes me as poor management. In the article he also refers to AC Milan's misuse of David Beckham in their recent encounter at the San Siro - playing him in the centre of midfield and failing to exploit his natural ability to deliver with pace and accuracy from the right. Such high profile (and expensive) errors serve to remind us that talent management must start with understanding peoples strengths and creating a plan for exploiting them on behalf of the team (or business). Rooney's game and the teams results indicate that they have it right now, but it may just be a little too late for Beckham?