Have you had enough of the golden advice?

Have you had enough of the golden advice that comes in numbers? Like the 6 digital traps a CHR should avoid? Or the 7 leadership competencies a CEO should have? Or the three transcendent values companies should spell out? Or the 4 components any L&D strategy should consist of? Or the top 5 reasons why employees don’t do what they are supposed to do?

It seems today’s wisdom and learning comes in numbers, ranging from a minimal 2 to maximum 12. Why 12 is a riddle but I suspect the number 13 to be too unpopular and too much of a hurdle to get to 14. Or maybe we cannot fathom anything higher than 12 when it comes to one-liners promising you how to address any HR issue.

I understand our HR guru’s are just trying to simplify their undoubtedly well-studied and researched knowledge for us mortals to understand. Sadly, most of their simplifications are unhelpful to the day-to-day’s HR professional in the field and on rare occasions just a plain insult.

Just for fun I googled ‘ the 8 habits’. Of course the first 7 or 8 hits were related to Steven Covey’s The 8th Habit®.  What appeared on page 2 was more diversified. The ones which caught my eye were: ‘the 8 habits of highly productive people’, ‘the 8 habits of extremely successful entrepreneurs’, ‘the 8 habits of highly effective Google managers’, ‘the 8 habits of highly effective bloggers’, ’the 8 habits of lousy listeners’, and ‘the 8 instinctive habits of remarkable leaders’.

Without going into detail, one might conclude that whenever the number 8 appears, you will become highly or extremely something. There’s magic in that number 8. Also, the internet swarms with well-numbered 8 advice.

Of course, I could not resist to dig a little deeper and sought refuge and help in Excel, the ‘ number 1’ tool HR professionals have come to love and hate. I listed, sliced and diced all 8 habits of all 6 categories and looked for common themes. To my surprise, there were few,  if any. It seems there is no correlation between being a truly remarkable leader and a highly productive person. I will spare you the analysis but not my conclusion: from an HR practitioner standpoint, I have learned absolutely nothing. Like all business people, I know that you have to set timelines to be productive, just like I know you have to communicate to your team to be effective, just like I know you have to set the example if you want to lead, jut like I know you have to automate everything if you want to be efficient, just like I know that lousy listeners change the subject on you.

There seems to be 1 exception. Effective bloggers are concise, analytical, focused, consistent, planning ahead, persistent, lifelong learners and self-starters. Just the kind of habits I thought extremely successful entrepreneurs had. Or highly remarkable leaders.

Maybe I should have googled the number 10. I would have learned all about the 10 qualities of really amazing employees or the 10 personal things employees do at work. Even better, I would know what the 10 habits of genuinely charming people are.

Just a question, would playing 8-ball pool help to be an effective blogger?