How to Find What You Love With Marcus Buckingham
Did you know that less than 16 percent of us are fully engaged at work, with the rest of us just selling our time and talent and getting compensated for our troubles? Meanwhile, many leaders’ energy levels are depleted; employees are burning out at an alarming rate, and parents met their breaking point long ago. When it comes to work my guest today argues that we are getting something terribly wrong. He believes we’ve designed the love out of our workplaces so that they fail utterly to provide for or capitalize on, one of our most basic human needs: our need for love.
Marcus Buckingham is a global researcher and the world’s authority on what the most effective leaders and highest-performing people do differently. He is the New York Times best-selling author of two of the most popular business books of all time, First, Break All the Rules, and Now, Discover Your Strengths. Marcus is the creator of the StandOut strengths assessment and the co-creator of StrengthsFinder – his strengths assessments have been completed by over 25 million people worldwide.
Building on two decades of experience as a Senior Researcher at The Gallup Organization, he leveraged his data-based discoveries to build a $100 million tech company focused on helping people find and contribute their strengths at work. Beginning with First, Break All the Rules, and continuing through his latest book Love and Work he is known for using reliable psychometric data to get to the core of what drives engagement, resilience, and productivity. Welcome to the SuperCreativity Podcast Marcus Buckingham.
Artificial Intelligence Generated Transcript
Below is a machine-generated transcript and therefore the transcript may contain errors.
James Taylor 0:00
Welcome to the super creativity podcast, Marcus Buckingham and his little dog which you might not be able to see on camera. How’re you doing?
Marcus Buckingham 1:44
I’m doing great, thank you. Yeah, this is a this is one Pablo. And he like all of us these days, we our work and our life and our personal life and professional life are all integrated and interwoven. So I’ve got him in here with me at the moment. And he barks sitting on my lap. Well,
James Taylor 2:04
thank you, Marcus, and thank you for one public for joining us the show today. So what was your goal and set out to write this book?
Marcus Buckingham 2:12
Well, we’ve designed loveless workplaces where we have high teens in terms of the number of people that are engaged at work, and that number has been there for, you know, 20 years even pre-pandemic, we designed work seemingly that didn’t really take into account what it is that people love to do, who they were as unique individuals. And we designed work to enforce conformity really, we designed cascaded goals that people were supposed to achieve, then we had competency models that we measured people against. And then we did feedback through 360s to figure out how closely you met the model. And all the while all of the unique things about you all the things that you knew from the age of nine or 10 were unique to you different from even the people you grew up with in the same household, all those things that felt most like you, and that you wanted to contribute in the world, you bump into a workplace that is singularly uninterested in any of that. Workplaces are interested in having you get done what needs to get done. And we’ve decided almost on mass, that the best way to do that is to tell you that your loves aren’t real or interesting or useful. And they’re really we should define your success by how closely you’ve matched the model, not by how intelligently, you’ve cultivated the unique labs and loads that you bring to the world. And so to write this book was to say, There’s got to be a better way to do this. And after the last two years, many of us have gone down really deep and sort of looking at who we are. We want to live what we bring, which changed and are now expectations of work. And maybe it’ll go back to normal maybe. But right now, certainly, our expectations of work is that work could be a place in which we get a chance to express the uniqueness and contribute and the uniqueness that we’ve always known that was inside of us, I suppose to have it repressed, as opposed to having work be a place that almost deliberately alienates us from ourselves, which at the moment it currently is, and whether we’re talking creativity, which of course on this podcast we are, or whether we’re talking about engagement or resilience, which is collaboration. None of those things are possible without logs. None of those are possible without you feeling your uniqueness. Your unique labs are taken seriously. At the moment they aren’t and we got to do better.
James Taylor 4:26
I was recently up in the Shetland Islands. We’re both from the UK originally and there are islands in the north part of Scott in the Shetland Islands and the language they speak there was a mix of Scots and Norwegian. And one of those Old Norse words is this word. Weird spoke W Y R D. And you actually talked about it early on in the book. So what is it mean? And how can we use it to kind of tap in and rediscover our loves?
Rediscover Our Loves
Marcus Buckingham 4:55
That’s so interesting. My mom and dad lived on the Shetland Islands after they were first married because there was a there’s an RF bass up there. So funny that you that you refer to that. Yeah, weird is not an adjective, it’s a noun, you have a weird. And for the Norse, it was an explicitly spiritual term that refers to the idea that you’ve got a diamond or a spirit that’s unique to you and it, it couldn’t grow up, and it can become a more adult version of itself. But, but it is, has a distinctive pattern to it, and you live the happiest, most fulfilled life, when you are honoring of your diamond, you’re weird. Today, we don’t really need a spiritual explanation for it, we know a lot about the way in which each person’s brain grows. And we’ve learned over the last 2530 years with the development of fMRI technologies that enable us to see the brain growing and understanding of brain chemistry. We know that each person by the time they’re 1819, has close to if not more than 100 trillion synaptic connections between their neurons. And that those, those connections form a unique pattern that is unique to that particular individual, independent of gender, or race, or nationality or age, no one’s gonna have a unique pattern of synaptic connections in their brain, like yours ever again. And that uniqueness leads you to be almost impossible to categorize. You’re not extrovert versus introvert, you’re not organized versus chaotic. You are this incredibly unique pattern of certain things that you pay attention to certain things that you love, certain things that, that were Time flies by when you’re doing them certain other things that bore you, or certain other things that make you impatient or drain you and it’s it’s not a function of your culture. Although your culture can affect it. It’s not a function of your upbringing. Although your upbringing can affect it, it’s a it’s a clash of your chromosomes, creating in you this unbelievably filigreed an unbelievably massive network of synapses in your brain that causes you to be the unique you that you are. And what we know about brain growth is that although your brain remains plastic throughout your life, and you can create more synaptic connections, no question, we know that you create more synaptic connections in your brain where you have the most pre existing ones. So it’s like you have this weird wi ID inside you this unique pattern that you share with no one inside you and that over the course of your life, yes, you grow, but you don’t rewire your brain into some other human, you, you actually develop more synaptic connections, where you have the most pre existing and you the ones where you have less actually wither away. So you’re weird, actually becomes more defined over the course of your life. No one tells you any of this. I was talking to my daughter the other day about her geometry. And she was asking me about Palo Alto, parallelograms and rhombuses. And what was the difference? And I didn’t know. But B, I think
James Taylor 8:03
many of us have had to become teachers.
Marcus Buckingham 8:06
Yes, or No? Right? Because you go, somebody took geometry really, really, really seriously. So there’s 10 years, my daughter has gone through 10 years of geometry because somebody went the language of geometry and the rituals of it are really important for her to study. And that’s great. But all the things that are about her, no one, how much how much time is spent thinking about her weird, the unique pattern of synaptic connections in our brain and how they turn into loves and loads and instincts and passion. Who’s done any of that? Nothing. Nobody almost in the age of five, we drain love out of schools, and who you are. What you’re weird is inside you is so uninteresting to us that when someone is wise as Ken Robinson gives a TED Talk and says, you know, your daughter’s not sick. She’s a dancer. And we all go wow, yeah, that’s right. She’s, she’s a dancer. We was we’re so disfluent about the world of loves and uniqueness. That we don’t even begin to push on that and go about there’s a million kinds of dancers Shouldn’t we be helping that particular person discover whether she’s a lyrical dancer or a modern dancer? Classical ballet dancer if classical ballet whether she’s dances with her arms more than she does pirouettes? Is she more repotted? Or is she more recorded? There’s a million kinds of just picking dancing is one example. And I’m certainly not picking on Ken Robinson. Colette is a genius. But we are by the time my daughter gets to be 20. She’s 19 now and we start to think about hiring her. She is utterly clueless about who she is, and how she can contribute it to the world. Everybody is. And so that’s what this book is about is going let’s start teaching you your love language. And there aren’t five although that’s a jolly good book, The Five Love Languages. There aren’t five. Sorry, that’s good. categorization it makes it easy, but there aren’t five this is million love as as many love languages, as there are people alive today, we just haven’t taught people how to become fluent in this,
James Taylor 10:13
if they there was, as I was, before coming on to this and kind of looking at that word weird and just kind of thinking about and researching. I didn’t realize it in a book your daughter probably would have studied in English. Macbeth, Shakespeare’s Macbeth actually has it when it talks about the witches, it talks about the weird witches, the three witches but actually, it says it’s not if you reread it now, it’s not the way we think of weird as in today, but because the way that you were talking about weird it more in that way. So yeah, there’s a whole fantastic and heritage in history that so that talks about your what your history and your kind of heritage and things. You’re known, as well as being a wonderful speaker, author. As you’re cooking, I’ve been having this kind of research side. So where does your love of research stemmed from? Where did that come from?
Love Of Research
Marcus Buckingham 11:06
I think I’ve always had it. I mean, one of the things that we want to rehabilitate with this book, it’s one of the reasons I picked Harvard Business School publishing as the, as the publisher, frankly, was, I want to, I want to have a world in which we take love seriously. And what better way to do that than to partner up with like a Harvard to go, no, no, this isn’t squishy. This isn’t soft. This is each person has uniqueness, and they want to contribute that uniqueness. Loves are the greatest clue that telltale signs of what’s unique about you, and we could get the most, let’s, let’s figure out how to help you take your love seriously, even though the world is telling you your loves are irrelevant. And almost telling you that the lie that your loves are real, really, you can just rewire your brain and create a whole bunch of new weirds new loves in you and and you aren’t really in there. Let’s try to change all that. One of the ways to change that is to say to people look, go back to when you were nine. Go back to when you were nine you what did you find yourself paying attention to to that no one else did? What did you find yourself drawn to that no one else was, and then maybe the tides of conformity tried to persuade you that what were you interested in wasn’t actually real? Maybe you’re interested in the difference between a toad and a frog? And you can’t even begin to articulate why but you sort of are. For me, looking back at nine. I remember being super fascinated even back then, with why is it that when people watch high jumpers, and I saw this when I was a school, you’d watch high jumpers, and all the people watching the high jump would instinctively lift their leg when the other person was jumping. Even if you’ve been broken into teams, and the person doing the high jump wasn’t on your team. Even if they were clearly sort of an enemy. In that regard. You were trying to beat that team, you still kicked your leg, everyone kicks their leg up or raises themselves up on tippy toes a little bit when they watch another person do the high jump. And I remember looking at it back then going. What the heck is that? And asking everybody at the time and no one knew and no one even said it was a thing. I asked my science teacher who thought I was mistaken. But it turns out that we have mirror neurons 20 years later geomat como Rizzolatti and his team found the existence of mirror neurons that basically mean we see somebody else go through something, we mirror in our brains, we mirror the experience of what they’re going through, it’s the foundation of empathy. Well, I didn’t know any of that at the time. But I do remember being completely flipping fascinated by this real world observed phenomenon of people basically lifting their legs to physiologically try to help the person over the high jumper. And from that moment on for me, I, I realized that I wasn’t that interested in fiction. I wasn’t that interested in stories. I wasn’t really that interested in theories, but was for whatever daft reason I was fascinated by real world actual behavior. And, and I got a chance when I was 16, to go study under Don Clifton, who was the chief scientist and Chairman of the Gallup organization. And the idea that psychology can, if we do it, right, we can measure certain aspects of the human condition. We can measure talent, like empathy, like competitiveness, like ego, like growth orientation, we can measure stuff that even the person themselves, they’re so close to it, they can’t even see it. So the idea that we could, that we could build the right questions and the right listen for us and then code them reliably. So we had interrater reliability where other raters could code them. And we have the same results even though we didn’t do it at the same time. But we the idea that this was a science that we could do, my bore some people to tears, but I loved it, and I spent 20 years 25 years now, doing exactly that’s called psychometrics. How do you measure engagement? How do you measure resilience? We’ve got Diversity, Equity and Inclusion going on right now we’re everyone’s fascinated by DNI. What’s kind of weird to know that right now there’s no way to measure the eye. We can’t measure inclusion? Are we getting any better with DNI? Well, we can measure the D of diversity, we can measure equity, we can’t measure inclusion, we can’t measure people’s feelings of sentiment, well as yet, we haven’t. So there’s still so much more to do. Around how do you measure things about the human condition that are important, but that you can’t count these days? There is so much opinion, this, you know, this, folks say, well, we’ve done our research and all the best leaders have these four skills. And as a psychometrician, I see stuff like that, and I go, Listen, we actually can’t measure skills in the way that you’re talking about. So there’s no way to say that you’ve done the research and leaders have these four skills. No, they don’t, we’d have to show to do that you got to have a study group of really successful leaders, a conscious group of less successful leaders. And then you’d have to measure prove, through measurement that those particular leaders had those four skills and leaders over here don’t that research has never been done. The best leaders don’t all share the sample skills. So I’m just picking that as one example. We need to in a world today where the barrier to sharing your opinions is so low. We’re living in a world where there are opinions everywhere. And in that world, some of those opinions are lovely, and interesting and cool. But we also need a countervailing influence of, you know, what does the data show though? What do we actually know about human talent, human uniqueness, human engagement, and human inclusion, that’s kind of the space that I play in.
James Taylor 16:58
And it’s an interesting to sort of thing, those things, you mentioned it, they can not really caught on the usual ways you’d measure. So I mentioned there’s going to love she mentioned that sensation of walking into a tile shop. And just being that sensation of being in a tile shop now for people that aren’t into not even the tailors but it’s just that there’s a sense obviously something going on there. I get that when I go into fabric shops, I’m not particularly interested in fabrics, but they kind of touch the the physical nature of that sometimes, when you brush your hand against a certain fabric, that’s, that’s a this kind of going back to this idea of weird who you are. There’s all these different variations of that we all have.
Marcus Buckingham 17:40
Yes, it’s one of the when you start measuring things in the real world, which is what we were just talking about, when you start measuring reliably measuring human appetites, human talents, human loves, the very first thing you’re hit with is just how much variation there is. Oh, my word. You know, the real question isn’t? How does Serena and Venus Williams become great tennis stars? Oh, it’s because that that got them to train. The real question is, why does Venus and Serena play tennis so very differently? Why do they finish planes so differently? Why do they seem to get joy out of different parts of it? human variation is flipping fascinating. George Clooney has a has a sister called Ada, who you don’t know about no one does. Because ADA isn’t an actor like George. We always seem to George as he says, Well, I became an actor because my artists Rosemary Clooney, well, a designer is Rosemary Clooney. But eight is an accountant specializing in payroll. So the first thing you start finding when you start measuring things in the real world is variation. You like fabric stores? Why is it because you’re a certain race or a certain age or a certain jet? No, you didn’t you don’t know. It was the clash of the chromosomes that made you feel something kind of a shiver of something when you feel a certain fabric and my fiancee my show and she walks into a tile store, you can’t get her out. You can’t get her out of a task, but she’s like in the middle of a Beethoven symphony. And it’s so much variation and so much fine shadings of, of pattern and design. Her sister, she walks into a tile store, she can’t get out fast enough. Like pick one tile that bloody well works and we’ll go to the supermarket and buy a trashcan to meet to match. I mean, same family same Portuguese heritage they both came from the Azores in the middle of the Atlantic but they couldn’t be more different
James Taylor 19:30
so so so on that on that’s the kind of loves parts you know, the the background you have you mentioned the Gallup is on the strengths. You mentioned that George Clooney there. And I’ve always interest like any of these, whether it’s the Myers Briggs or the strengths finders, and you can take these these. These test is not just a test, not test but you can ask questions and surveys. And I’m always left wondering at the end, should I be focusing on developing that strength further and just going all in on that strength, should I be trying to compensate in some way for the weakness? Or is it a combination of the two? Like you mentioned, the the George Clooney, if he found out was saying, you know, should he maybe have been developing his math skills elevate more, instead of just the music?
Strengths And Weaknesses
Marcus Buckingham 20:17
Well, there’s not a should, what we do know you study the most happiest and most successful individuals. And first of all, what’s the relationship between love and strength, love is the raw material to strength, we think of a strength is what you’re good at, and weaknesses, what you’re bad at. But that’s not very helpful definition, because all of us have some things that we’re really, really, really, really good at that we hate, that we loads, where you’re just good at it, because you have to be smart, or you’re disciplined or whatever, but, but if you’d be totally, crazily sadistic to tell someone to build their career around a strength that they hate. So we need a proper definition of strengths or weaknesses. Strengths, really, are things that strengthen you. And weaknesses are things that we can use, even if you’re good at them. Good or bad is performance. That’s performance. That’s an outcome. A strength is an activity that strengthens you or weaknesses, an activity that weakens you, which means the raw material, of what you make a strength with with is what you love, your loves are the best clues to what your strengths are. And by loves. I mean, what are the specific activities that you find yourself instinctively volunteering for? What are the activities where when you’re doing them time seems to whip by, and what feels like five minutes is when you look up at the clock, it’s an hour, or when you’re doing them, you don’t really need the steps to be taught how to do them. It’s almost like you have the understanding there within you. There are signs like this love signs, if you will, that show you what your strengths are. Now, do you need to practice them in order to become better and turn them into performance? Yes, will there be some things that you love to do, where you never get to be high performing enough to have it be your job? Yes, we call them hobbies, that’s fine. But but the relationship between loves and strength is loves eyes, the raw material for strengths. And what we know, for high performers, is they do take their loves slash strengths really seriously. And they won’t ignore their weaknesses. I’m not suggesting that George Clooney has ignored his weaknesses or whatever you might have dealt with them. But what we know from brain science is that he will grow most when his loves are in play, he’ll learn more, is more resilient, more collaborative, and also more authentic. So when we look at high performers, most creative people, they figured out how to identify that which they love. And then double down on it through training through learning through competency development, but they’ve doubled down on it. So their career is a bit like a scavenger hunt for loves, followed by a lot of training and development to maximize it.
James Taylor 22:51
So I want to I want to push back against that a little bit about that strength, love. I’m just thinking just now, an example of an event I was doing a little while ago was for a large private bank. And I was meeting a number of people there. And it was interesting going dinner after the after I spoke with many of them. These are people who are the best in the world at their particular thing, which is selling equities or investment management in some way. And yet the conversations I was having with them was so many of them. Were saying things like, Yeah, well, I have a number in my head I want to get to and then my wife and I were going to open up this amazing restaurant on the south coast of some place of Italy, or they were saying so I’m interested like, you know, what happens if you are really good at something you you have a strength as in the traditional sense of strength in something, but it bores you, and you hate it. So by that definition, it wouldn’t be by your definition wouldn’t be a strength.
Marcus Buckingham 23:52
Or if it weakens you it’s not a strength. Yeah, there’s an awful lot of people that do that kind of payoff, where you’ll say, Look, I’m going to suck this up for three years, and then we’re going to open a place in the south of France. Yeah, as a way of thriving in life. That’s a terrible strategy. It’s like saying to your kid, listen, go to that school for three years. You’re gonna hate every minute of it. But don’t worry, don’t you worry. In about three years time, you’ll start to be actually living a life that feels like yours. By the time you get to the three years, you’re different human, that strategy that nobody read dad’s latest book, The Power of regret.
James Taylor 24:23
Yeah, we had him on the show talking about about regrets.
Marcus Buckingham 24:27
Right. So if you if you think about what you regret. The challenge is about the time you wake up after three years of devoting three years of your life to activity that you hate or bores you or drains you or drags you down. You’re not the same person. You’re broken in the same way that your child is broken. It’s what we have to realize about love in general, is that its frequency is everything. We have no data that says look, suck it up for three years, and then do something intensely lovable Three years from now, there’s no data that shows that to be worthwhile strategy. Instead, what we do know for sure from data is that people who say that I find something to be excited about every day, I find something to love every day in what I do, even if I’m not good at it yet, far less likely to have accidents on the job far less likely to miss work days, far less likely to quit their job in the first year, or the first 90 days, far more likely to be highly productive. Like whatever the outcome is the criteria that you’re trying to drive. All of that’s driven by frequency of love, not intensity, not once a year, twice a year, or maybe once every four years intensity, if you’re not frequently, and the analogy here is threads every day, is filled with a fabric of many different activities, situations moments, some of those activities are black, or white, or gray or brown colored threads, they like they move the needle up a little bit a little bit down. But some of them are read some of the activities that you have in your day or read threads. And you don’t need an entirely read quilt, the data on that suggests that 20% is a threshold number. You don’t need to do what you love. But you do need to find love in what you do every day, some threads are needing for you to be read every day. So if the people that you were talking to at that private equity firm were like, yeah, for four years, five years, six years, I have no red threads, this job bores me to tears, but I’m gonna earn 2 million pounds and I quit. Yeah, psychologically, that’s a disaster for you. By the way, they may get through it. But if your days are Loveless, then you are less attractive, less resilient, more likely to get sick, more likely to build resentments all sorts of things about you are worse. And we don’t teach this again, we you could have a bunch of conversations with super smart people over dinner, and they’ll say stuff like that to you. And there’s no 10 years of geometry equivalent for you to be able to go maids, that means your days are loveless. So you are, you are withstanding your work, you’re not nourished by it, other than earning money to buy things for people you love for the activities themselves, they deplete you. Okay, that’s, psychologically that’s so damaging.
James Taylor 27:17
And in the book you made you go into the kind of red threads is a really nice kind of questionnaire in terms of finding those kind of red threads in your in your own life. And some of the questions I’ve seen before. But what I haven’t seen before and I thought was really nice and a really nice level. And this again, goes back to your obviously your level of research and understanding how to ask better questions, you ask an additional set of questions related to these red thread questions. So you know, one of the ones you might be you know, where do you get that sense of flow? It might be a kind of red thread set where that you lose track of time. But you kind of go one level deeper, which is, you ask a series of questions, which are does it matter? So can you just describe it, I just think is this is a very, very, quite a soft distinction. But I think it’s actually a very powerful distinction by having that and kind of going this one level deeper on that red thread.
Does It Matter?
Marcus Buckingham 28:16
Well, yes, I said before that the first thing you do when you start measuring stuff in the real world about human beings is you find variation in what people love, people hard to categorize. But the second thing you find is detail. Love lives in detail. And yet most of us because we’ve been told for such an early age that our lives are important or relevant. And if our sort of getting away, most of us are really inarticulate in describing our lives. So the red thread questionnaire is 10 questions that as you say, are some of them you you probably have heard before, like, when was the last time a day flew by? When was the last time you notice something that others didn’t? When was the last time somebody had to tap you on the shoulder to get you to stop doing something that you’re so involved with? Like just questions that kind of get you thinking that way. But once you’ve landed on things, what we found is when you push people on the questionnaire, they can get back to those moments when they were singled out for praise or the hour flew by. But their ability to put the detail is limited. They’ll say things like when I was when I loved when I loved helping people. And then you want to go okay, well at least you got a verb least you didn’t say I love working with people. Which is by the way, the most frequent answer you get in any interview question when you ask people straight up. I love working with people. So the first thing you got to do is put a verb in there. Well, what are you doing with the people helping, serving, saving or selling to give me a verb? But then to your point, it’s we need to put some detail to that. So in the book, it’s like, here’s some does it matter questions? You like, okay, you’ve said the last time a day flew by was when you were helping people. Okay, that’s cool. Which people doesn’t matter which people doesn’t matter how you are helping these people. Doesn’t matter what you are helping these people with. It doesn’t matter. When you’re helping these people, please push for that level of detail that gets us to the point where you actually love people that you don’t know very well deal with non life threatening illnesses that enable them to alleviate their condition at home. Okay, that’s fascinating. We’re not saying that will never change. But that’s the thing you can own. You love helping people that you don’t know very well, a simple condition to enable them to alleviate their condition at home. Amazing. Now over here, you like working with super high powered students who want to take their already level of genius to the next level? Okay, that’s totally different and really cool. And not generalizable. My sister’s a ballet dancer, she figured out after her ballet career was over at 28 Which, again by the specifics of her ballet career fascinating because you’re, you’re you’re a dancer, no, that’s a million different kind of dances. She went, she went, she got a Montessori degree, and she wanted to help. You know, young kids learn how to do ballet, then she’s doing it and she realized she hates it. But she doesn’t like teaching kids to do ballet. She likes teaching 20 year olds that have already proven that they have something special in their kind of dance, and turn it into professionals. She likes helping certain levels of people get to the point where they can actually earn a living as a dancer, which is a totally different source of joy and nourishment, and energy from somebody else who wants to help people just like to learn how to dance, which sounds obvious. But looking at her, you’d never know this, she didn’t know this, no one didn’t even begin to give her a lexicon or a language to talk about the fact that her weird, was full of detail. Love is full of detail. And so those five doesn’t matter questions are trying to begin to give you a language to start interrogating yourself. Because your life, this is everything I was trying to get across in the book, your life is, is not the enemy. Normally, we wake up in the morning, and it is like you wake up as a to do list. And all you do is your life is let’s keep it a bag. Let’s withstand it. Let’s get through it. And instead, if we could flip our mindset around and go, no, no, no. Everyday your life is putting on a show for you. He or she whatever gender your life is giving you clues all the time to the vivid detail of where sources of love are for you. Which activities, what sort of people? What are you doing with them? It’s not random. And it’s nothing to do with your agenda, and nothing to do with your race. Nothing to do with your nationality. It’s just you. And life’s teaching you about you. So in the book, we’ve tried to mirror that with these five kind of doesn’t matter questions to push you put some bloody detail to it. Because I like helping people isn’t good enough? Because there’s a million different ways in which that can manifest and the details matter.
James Taylor 32:54
Yeah, I think it was like Einstein that just said that it wasn’t that he was genius. He just stuck with the questions for longer and just went deep in the questions. How do you do your own thinking fresh marks? I mean, what what influences Do you try to surround yourself with this year, this is your ninth or 10th book now, you’re always coming up with new thoughts. And what I like about it is it’s coming from a very different different perspective, as well as your own voice that comes from a different perspective is backed by research is very you in that sense? But how do you keep your thinking fresh?
Marcus Buckingham 33:29
Well, I I mean, certainly not to compare myself to Einstein, but I keep asking the fifth question, the sixth question, the seventh question. Why is it I’ve been measuring engagement for 25 years, it hasn’t moved? or shame on me. Why hasn’t it moved? I should have known more about what it is that we do at work that alienates people from themselves at work. Why have we built such loveless jobs? What’s the relationship between love and trust? Why do we have such surveillance oriented, untrusting work environments? Why do even the most well intended feedback focused competency models that are supposedly designed to help you? Why do they to add to your rejection of your own loves and your own uniqueness? What what keeps me fresh is looking at data that says you haven’t made the difference that you want to make yet there’s more to be done. Human uniqueness, its power is that each humans nature is unique. Like that’s its power. The uniqueness bit isn’t a bug. It’s a feature. And yet at school, a college university work. I mean, let’s face it all the way through the school system in the UK. And the US. schooling is not about understanding what’s inside you so that it can come out. schooling is about telling you stuff outside of you that you should internalize so we can test You want it? And some parts of schooling should be that without question you need to know some dates and some facts and some formerly, and some process you need to. But but all the stuff that workers really or the workplaces want from you all of the creativity, the innovation, the collaboration, the ingenuity, the persistence, all of that comes from the inside out. And so I look around at schools. And I go, we are failing in here in the US particularly, we have a an epidemic of ADHD diagnoses and Adderall prescriptions. We have a similar epidemic of Xanax to tone down the Adderall. We it’s it’s child abuse. And over here, there’s nothing to help the child who gets alienated from themselves during 10 years of, of outside in formulaic education, we just wait to the point till you’re really sick. And then we prescribe drugs to you, we there really isn’t anything. Now, of course, the working world, by the way, we’d love it, if they were graduating people from universities, who was super articulate about how they would join a team, and what they would contribute to that team, and how they could listen to the red threads of others so that they could know how to collaborate better together. Like all of that, frankly, the workplace would love it, if we were graduating students like that we’re not. And so what keeps me fresh, frankly, is dissatisfaction. It’s going we haven’t cracked this yet. If you understand natural selection, you know, human variability is our lifeblood. We’re also different because range creates variation, various variation creates different outcomes of fitness, and then collaboration in the form of, you know, our bodies or collaborations of genes. Teams, a collaboration with people, uniqueness, and variability is amazing. And yet, we haven’t created an ecosystem of education, and workplaces that intelligently capitalize on that inevitable uniqueness. We’ve simplified it by talking about things we share with many other people like agendas, like nationalities, like our races, or ages, which are important, but don’t get to any of this. So what keeps me fresh is going gosh, there’s must be more that we could do to help. Frankly, in this case, our children and our graduates understand their own love language, not to be narcissistic, but so that they could contribute more.
James Taylor 37:31
That could be you know, the the possible topic for your, your next book as well, Marcus, and Marcus, lovely speaking to you this, your new book, Love and Work: How to Find What You Love, Love What You Do, and Do It for the Rest of Your Life is out now put a link to that we can get their copy of it. If you want to learn more about your your other writing your your speaking your things you’ve kind of got going on just now I know some of the organizations you’re involved in, and where’s the best place for them to go and do that.
Marcus Buckingham 37:58
So right now, we have everything really hubbed at love and work.org. So love and work.org is where we’ve got a partner with HBr Harvard Business Review, we’re doing a loving work leader series, which is free. So it’s a series on career on teams on education on relationships, what’s a love of work school, like what’s a loving work, workplace look like? There’s a an article coming out in HBr. In the middle of April, we’ve got a four part podcast series on HBO as idea cast, that is all the way through April just trying to give you different modalities to sort of gauge with this with this subject. And for those of you that might be super data, super sort of data geeky. You could go to adp ri.org. And all of the actual research papers that we’re putting out. We’ve just come out of the field with 27 countries 27,000 People just focused on how do you measure inclusion. As an example, if you’re interested in that kind of data. email@example.com is where all of those research papers can be found. And love and work.org is where all of the education around love and work can be found. And then the only place I do on social is Instagram because it’s I just It’s easy. It’s easy for me. So join me on Instagram and I’ll
James Taylor 39:20
be there as you might we might even see some pictures of your lovely dog as well on Instagram. Marcus Buckingham, thank you so much for coming on the show today and sharing with us all about your your your life and the what you’re doing here on the Super creativity podcast. Thanks for coming on the show. My pleasure. You could subscribe to the super creativity podcast on Spotify, Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts while you’re there. Please leave us a review. I would really appreciate it. I’m James Taylor and you’ve been listening to the super creativity podcast
How to Find What You Love