Book Review: Showing Up

Emma De Vita reviews the new book by Tim Robson, which says we need to grow up and stop treating work like 'school with pay'

Showing Up by Tim Robson
Showing Up by Tim Robson

It's rare to be your true self at work - to feel confident and comfortable enough to crack jokes and speak your mind. All too often we treat work as a hardship that has to be borne rather than an opportunity for enjoyment - like "school with pay", as the author Tim Robson calls it.

Well, it's time to walk through the school gates and view your working life as you would the rest of your life: as a grown-up. Robson says there are five school paradigms to break: Teacher Knows Best, Do What You're Told, Don't Answer Back, Don't Copy and (Play Nicely and) Stay Out of Trouble. As a manager, Robson says, your goal should be to "create open and accepting teams and working environments, filled with enough authentic connections for genuine interest, affection and understanding between members to develop".

To achieve this, you must adopt Robson's five new paradigms: Think, Create, Believe, Connect and All is Well. The last of these is the most important and can be summed up as the feeling that you are the one calling the shots. This is your life and your career, and the quicker you assume control, the quicker you will start enjoying the ride - and you will bring your team with you.

Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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