REVIEW: Victoria M. Grady and Patrick McCreesh — Stuck: How to WIN at Work by Understanding LOSS (BOOK)
The case Doctors Victoria M. Grady and Patrick McCreesh make in their new book, Stuck: How to WIN at Work by Understanding LOSS, is straightforward and palpable. In essence, they make a compelling, example-laden case for the fact emotional intelligence and the coveted attribute ‘success at work’ are fused in a mutually beneficial, symbiotic relationship. That articulation ideologically isn’t necessarily anything new.
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What Grady and McCreesh advocate for has already been demonstrated, displayed, and implemented to varying degrees within the postmodernist, twenty-first century workplace milieu. But what they may not have in terms of kernels of originality, they more than make up for in terms of their specific brand of philosophy and implementation methodology. This is further enhanced by Grady and McCreesh’s systematic breakdown chapter-by-chapter of the mentality leading a potential employer and his base astray, serving as a sort of pre-problem solving guide covering the how’s and why’s in a systematic, all-encompassing series of psychological studies. “…the Intuitive Brain and our attachment behavior moves with us through the doorway where we enter the working world.
What comes with it is our set of attachments formed by our earliest days of life. It reveals itself in our daily work through simple things like our daily habits and our interactions with team members. In the late 1980s, research began to move beyond intimate relationships and demonstrate a strong connection of attachment with the challenges of everyday life. It is only over the last 20 years that the pace of dedicated research on attachment in the workplace has significantly quickened,” they write in the book’s third chapter — aptly titled Why Do I Get Stuck?
Interestingly enough, they never approach potential pitfalls within an organization through a negative lens. Rather, as Grady and McCreesh repeatedly demonstrate, it is an opportunity to learn — while still a balancing act not to let the scale tip too far on one side, or the other. “This is both the power and the challenge of (the) getting Stuck (mentality),” they write. “We want to develop our workplace to leverage the Intuitive Brain to support our team members and employees in an organization. We want them to build the effective habits of the organization that will drive support individual development and growth while supporting organizational productivity, but we don’t want that emotional side to get Stuck.
We want the emotional side to remain flexible enough to be re-engaged and motivated in a new direction if the organization needs to move in a different direction.” They continue, “For each person, that is a complicated dance. It requires attachment to a set of core elements that remain constant while many things around the person may change. It is like tying one’s attachments to a drainpipe while a tornado happens around you.”
In many ways, Grady and McCreesh state, navigating the challenges of the workplace aren’t — and shouldn’t be considered — that different from navigating the basic, rudimentary challenges of life. It’s that apt demonstration of universality really making me able to wholeheartedly recommend Stuck. While an idea often explored in today’s world, it’s very rarely able to be articulated where critics and cynics wouldn’t say it’s generalized, anti-intellectual, and maudlin. Mercifully, Grady and McCreesh are able to (intellectually) crush that, hook line and sinker…