Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Read More, Make More!
I read 3-4 books per month and many of those focus on leadership or business topics that can be put to use at work. Since I often lead discussions on these same books, I would consider this professional development. It is something that has made a difference!
The EXCEL Leadership program in Greene County included a book discussion component. So I get asked a lot about what a book discussion or regular reading is important.
Book clubs can grow and improve your professional network. But there are two other strong reasons"
1. Advance Your Career: A book club can enhance your career on two fronts. First, the books you read may make you more effective in areas critical to success like leadership, communication and productivity. Second, the network you'll be building may help you with career advice, introduce you to new people and find your next job.
2. Reading is Good for You: Did you know business people who read at least seven business books per year earn over 230% more than people who read just one book per year?1 Reading improves your intelligence, reasoning ability, and has been linked to reducing the chance of Alzheimer's.
Joining our EXCEL Leadership book club gives you the opportunity to read more and enjoy all the benefits that come with it.
More of Me, Less of You
It is a modern phenomenon where humans consistently value themselves higher than other people they know. Some folks blame it on social media. But it shows up in all types of conversations and behaviors.
It could be said that we are often acting like we want “more of me, less of you.”
Said another way, we tend to exaggerate our own talents and diminish the talents of others. It is a bad trait. Even worse, there is research to back this up as a growing trend.
Most people are very good at something and less competent at something else. However, we have all met someone who overestimates their knowledge or ability on a certain topic or skill.
Worse, some people are incompetent in a particular subject yet confidently insist that they know everything.
For a few weeks, there was a video on Facebook of sheep chasing a scared, young sheepdog all over a field. We can be like that sometimes. We claim greatest in an area but then discover we are in over our head.
This phenomenon has a name: cognitive bias of illusionary superiority. There was a study in 1999 is now known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect or the competence vs. confidence study.
Dunning and Kruger examined a group of undergraduate students in several categories. After knowing the test scores, they asked the students to estimate their results.
They found that the students who were less competent had the tendency to overestimate their results, despite their test scores placing them in the bottom percentile. Even more surprisingly, students who performed better at these tests underestimated their results.
This effect does not only happen in the academic field; it happens in almost every subject and situation. If you take a closer look, you will find them everywhere.
The pressing question is: “why are the least competent people usually the most confident ones?”
The least skilled person often overestimates their ability because they have no idea how much they do not know. In other words, poor performers believe they know everything in a particular subject, and therefore they tend to be overconfident about it.
On the other hand, high performers are fully aware of the vastness and complexity of their field of work. They know how much they do not know and they usually underestimate their ability and competence in a particular area.
In contrast to high performers, poor performers also do not learn from feedback suggesting a need to improve. Again, this is because they already believe they know everything.
In reality, the Dunning-Kruger Effect is not a joke. Instead, it is a cognitive bias that negatively impacts our society from the individual to the organizational level.
Incompetent people rise to the top in all kinds of organizations because they are more confident while real talent is buried due to self-doubt.
Mix this Dunning-Kruger Effect in with some modern narcissism (selfie-generation), and you find a very real challenge facing us in communities and business.