Title: Showing Up. How to make a Greater Impact at Work
Author: Tim Robson
Reviewer: Jenni Middleton, editor, Nursing Times
What was it like?
Many of us go to work still believing that we aren’t in control of what happens, and have decisions made for us about how we spend our time, who we spend it with and what we accept. The author of this book, Tim Robson, believes that this is a mindset where we regard work as a “school with pay” situation.
He urges readers to change all that and actually get involved in decisions at their work, challenge their bosses and think differently. And he swears that not only will you be more successful if you do that, you’ll enjoy your work much more too.
He gives some concrete examples of organisations he has come across that have heavy levels of bureaucracy and are managed to such an extent that they feel like school – where your line manager actually “marks” your homework. He believes such places create cultures that are anti-creative and anti-success.
What were the highlights?
The book has some excellent tangible examples of things you can do – both as an employee and a leader – to eradicate the “school with pay” culture.
He talks about time management, leading without authority, having fun at work, not giving away your personal power, and not imposing your power on others.
The book is accessibly written, and you can quickly identify scenarios from work that you give you a “Eureka” moment, where you realise you can do things differently.
Strengths & weaknesses:
The book focuses on the importance of not handing your “personal power” to someone who has a higher “rank” than you. Not only that but it encourages leaders not to just use their authority and stamp all over the creativity of the other people on the team.
The book makes you think about your own performance, gives you permission to change things with Robson’s strapline “Updates are available”. He likens people to Apple Macbooks and iPhones and says like Apple products, we can choose to update ourselves and have a better version of ourselves show up at work.
Who should read it?
I think anyone who works can benefit from reading this book. Tim comes from a corporate world, having run staff and brand development programmes for Marks & Spencer, he has worked in the charity sector as a youth worker, and now runs his own training consultancy, where his clients range from a clinical commissioning group to retail giants. His view is that the mindsets he is talking about are as relevant if you are selling “sandwiches and socks” as they are to a staff nurse on a ward. I think the biggest benefits would be derived from those who are leaders as there is rich content in here for those nurses looking to become better and more inspirational leaders, but there is such a lot in the book about time management and challenging authority, that I think it would be compelling for anyone to read, and you’d definitely learn something in every chapter. I love this book and got a lot out of reading it. It was a quick read, but tells you a lot, and although there are a few books but one that I am glad I took the time to read.