Review of Nine Lies About Work

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9 Overall

9 Applicability

9 Innovation

9 Style


Business consultant Marcus Buckingham passionately reminds leaders, employees and everyone else that they are unique with distinctive strengths and abilities no one else ever had or will match. With co-author Ashley Goodall, Buckingham returns to the theme of his bestseller First, Break All the Rules. The authors demolish the standard operating procedures in most organizations – cascading goals, 360º feedback, programs for “high-potential” employees and emphasis on work-life balance. Behind their logical, common-sense arguments, Buckingham and Goodall refer to decades of research and data. They argue that efforts to round out your weaknesses return meager rewards compared to the payoffs for doubling down on your strengths. Everyone from students to CEOs will find useful guidance in Buckingham and Goodall’s advice, which can benefit individuals, teams, organizations and the world of work.

About the Authors

Marcus Buckingham heads people and performance research at ADP. Ashley Goodall has led learning and leadership initiatives at Deloitte and Cisco.


Nine lies pervade the workplace, inhibiting engagement, innovation and breakthrough productivity.

The authors believe that conventional wisdom – which says you need to provide constructive, critical feedback, link corporate goals from top to bottom and reward everybody – perpetuates myths. They assert that these things don’t matter and, in fact, drive negative outcomes. Firms use them to control their employees, simplify management and push conformity. They urge you to ignore these nine lies:

Lie 1: “People care which company they work for.”

Buckingham and Goodall describe the way job seekers often research firms where they might want to work. They read annual reports and company websites, scour Glassdoor ratings and Fortune magazine rankings, and speak with recruiters and current and ex-employees.

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First, Break All the Rules
Now, Discover Your Strengths
The Truth About You
Go Put Your Strengths to Work
The One Thing You Need to Know

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