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Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More

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Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller A Financial Times Business Book of the Month Named by The Washington Post as One of the 11 Leadership Books to Read in 2018 From the New York Times bestselling coauthor of Great by Choice comes an authoritative, practical guide to individual performance—based on analysis from an exhaustive, groundbreaking study. Why do some people perfor Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller A Financial Times Business Book of the Month Named by The Washington Post as One of the 11 Leadership Books to Read in 2018 From the New York Times bestselling coauthor of Great by Choice comes an authoritative, practical guide to individual performance—based on analysis from an exhaustive, groundbreaking study. Why do some people perform better at work than others? This deceptively simple question continues to confound professionals in all sectors of the workforce. Now, after a unique, five-year study of more than 5,000 managers and employees, Morten Hansen reveals the answers in his “Seven Work Smarter Practices” that can be applied by anyone looking to maximize their time and performance. Each of Hansen’s seven practices is highlighted by inspiring stories from individuals in his comprehensive study. You’ll meet a high school principal who engineered a dramatic turnaround of his failing high school; a rural Indian farmer determined to establish a better way of life for women in his village; and a sushi chef, whose simple preparation has led to his restaurant (tucked away under a Tokyo subway station underpass) being awarded the maximum of three Michelin stars. Hansen also explains how the way Alfred Hitchcock filmed Psycho and the 1911 race to become the first explorer to reach the South Pole both illustrate the use of his seven practices (even before they were identified). Each chapter contains questions and key insights to allow you to assess your own performance and figure out your work strengths, as well as your weaknesses. Once you understand your individual style, there are mini-quizzes, questionnaires, and clear tips to assist you focus on a strategy to become a more productive worker. Extensive, accessible, and friendly, Great at Work will help you achieve more by working less, backed by unprecedented statistical analysis.


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Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller A Financial Times Business Book of the Month Named by The Washington Post as One of the 11 Leadership Books to Read in 2018 From the New York Times bestselling coauthor of Great by Choice comes an authoritative, practical guide to individual performance—based on analysis from an exhaustive, groundbreaking study. Why do some people perfor Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller A Financial Times Business Book of the Month Named by The Washington Post as One of the 11 Leadership Books to Read in 2018 From the New York Times bestselling coauthor of Great by Choice comes an authoritative, practical guide to individual performance—based on analysis from an exhaustive, groundbreaking study. Why do some people perform better at work than others? This deceptively simple question continues to confound professionals in all sectors of the workforce. Now, after a unique, five-year study of more than 5,000 managers and employees, Morten Hansen reveals the answers in his “Seven Work Smarter Practices” that can be applied by anyone looking to maximize their time and performance. Each of Hansen’s seven practices is highlighted by inspiring stories from individuals in his comprehensive study. You’ll meet a high school principal who engineered a dramatic turnaround of his failing high school; a rural Indian farmer determined to establish a better way of life for women in his village; and a sushi chef, whose simple preparation has led to his restaurant (tucked away under a Tokyo subway station underpass) being awarded the maximum of three Michelin stars. Hansen also explains how the way Alfred Hitchcock filmed Psycho and the 1911 race to become the first explorer to reach the South Pole both illustrate the use of his seven practices (even before they were identified). Each chapter contains questions and key insights to allow you to assess your own performance and figure out your work strengths, as well as your weaknesses. Once you understand your individual style, there are mini-quizzes, questionnaires, and clear tips to assist you focus on a strategy to become a more productive worker. Extensive, accessible, and friendly, Great at Work will help you achieve more by working less, backed by unprecedented statistical analysis.

30 review for Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More

  1. 4 out of 5

    Will Once

    Disappointing. There is nothing wrong with the book's main thesis that we should "work less, then obsess". In other words, do fewer things but focus more on doing them well. Can't argue with that. There are six other principles including such obvious nuggets as "work smarter, not harder". The problem is how the book justifies this point of view. Most of the book is argument by anecdote. Person X did this and it worked out ... therefore we should all do this. That's hardly a strong argument as the Disappointing. There is nothing wrong with the book's main thesis that we should "work less, then obsess". In other words, do fewer things but focus more on doing them well. Can't argue with that. There are six other principles including such obvious nuggets as "work smarter, not harder". The problem is how the book justifies this point of view. Most of the book is argument by anecdote. Person X did this and it worked out ... therefore we should all do this. That's hardly a strong argument as the examples are all hand-picked to prove the author's arguments. The book is also based on research (a survey) which seems flaky. People were asked to rate their performance and the performance of their bosses and employees. Then they were asked to say how well they, their bosses and employees exhibited a range of skills and behaviours. The problem is that the only positive skills and behaviours in the survey were the ones that the author was advocating. So inevitably there was a high correlation between high performance and these skills or behaviours. That isn't science. It's snake oil salesmanship. The book also misquotes Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers. Hansen argues that Gladwell was wrong to say that 10,000 hours of practice is what it takes to excel at something. Instead, Hansen says (quite rightly) that it needs to be good practice. The problem is that Gladwell says exactly the same thing. This makes me wonder whether Hansen had read Outliers or was deliberately misrepresenting it. Either way, it didn't give this book much credibility. Two stars (three on Amazon). There is nothing wrong with this book, but it doesn't say much that is new and hasn't been said much better before.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    If you attend 45% less meetings, you will be 74% more effective. There's all sorts of "real numbers" and stats like this in the book and I call BS. What does it even mean to be great at work? I think there are a lot of great tips in here that are pretty obvious--my personal favorites are do less and then obsess and don't follow your passion. But the book sells itself as scientifically rigorous when it's just a nice self-help that is fairly obvious. I would actually recommend Essentialism, which If you attend 45% less meetings, you will be 74% more effective. There's all sorts of "real numbers" and stats like this in the book and I call BS. What does it even mean to be great at work? I think there are a lot of great tips in here that are pretty obvious--my personal favorites are do less and then obsess and don't follow your passion. But the book sells itself as scientifically rigorous when it's just a nice self-help that is fairly obvious. I would actually recommend Essentialism, which basically said the same thing. The rule there was one I still follow: If it's not a hell yes, then it's a no.

  3. 4 out of 5

    John

    As business books go, this is a good one. Morten T. Hansen's Great at Work is an attempt to explain how high-performers outdo their peers and deliver higher-quality work. The essential teaching of the book is that such performers "do less, then obsess": That is, they are very good at prioritizing, focusing on the top one to three things -- then they really bear down on those things to the exclusion of everything else. There's a lot more going on, but I think almost anyone would appreciate readin As business books go, this is a good one. Morten T. Hansen's Great at Work is an attempt to explain how high-performers outdo their peers and deliver higher-quality work. The essential teaching of the book is that such performers "do less, then obsess": That is, they are very good at prioritizing, focusing on the top one to three things -- then they really bear down on those things to the exclusion of everything else. There's a lot more going on, but I think almost anyone would appreciate reading his chapter two, where he explains this idea in great detail. I was just looking over my own work goals for the coming year, and based on this book, I don't think I have enough focus. I have not created challenges for myself that will allow me to "do less, then obsess" and truly succeed at the genuinely most important things. I need to declutter my work for the coming year. Chapter 4 provides guidance on how to discover your high-value work so that you can "do less, then obsess." The later chapters expand outward regarding how you get buy-in from others in your organization, how you unite passion and purpose, and, finally, how you can use the ideas from the book to better balance your work/life conundrum. All the way through, due attention is paid to have the claims sometimes need adjustment according to gender. Longer review here: http://7fff.com/2018/03/hansen-great-...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Lawson

    Do Less Fluff In GREAT AT WORK, Professor Morten Hansen reveals the results of his extensive research study, which began in 2011, and examined the activity of 5,000 workers. The author was trying to figure out exactly which factors contributed to one being an especially superior worker. The researchers whittled down the factors to just seven "Smart Practices." These seven factors, as a whole explained about 2/3 of what makes someone really effective. The biggest factor leading to superior performa Do Less Fluff In GREAT AT WORK, Professor Morten Hansen reveals the results of his extensive research study, which began in 2011, and examined the activity of 5,000 workers. The author was trying to figure out exactly which factors contributed to one being an especially superior worker. The researchers whittled down the factors to just seven "Smart Practices." These seven factors, as a whole explained about 2/3 of what makes someone really effective. The biggest factor leading to superior performance is called "Do Less, then Obsess." Great performers figure out what to NOT do. This means "Shaving away unnecessary tasks" like meetings, procedures, and useless metrics. Perhaps my favorite section is the large chapter on the "Learning Loop." Here's the key: Spend a little time each day improving your skills. To not be overwhelmed, just "pick one and only one skill at a time to develop it." The author mentions the "10,000 hour" rule (popularized in Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell), but cautions the reader that it's not just practice of any time--it must be deliberative, focused practice. Along with the research findings, the book includes lots of anecdotes of people who (mostly) exemplified the desired traits--but not all the stories are good ones. There is one especially sad account of one man who wanted to live his dream, but ended up losing all his money. So all in all, I found GREAT AT WORK to be a valuable book, with lots of practical findings. I was especially interested to find that the current management fad of "collaboration" tends to reduce the effectiveness of superior employees. The author does something really smart in this book--he includes the key points at the end of each chapter. This makes it really easy for the reader to review the main points. Professor Hansen labels the dumb idea the "Work Harder Convention," and his good ideas the "Work Smarter Perspective." Advance Review Copy courtesy of the publisher.

  5. 5 out of 5

    ☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣

    A surprisingly sane account by a BCG alumnus and an academic on how to get work to be healthier and more productive. Basically: the 'work not 12 hrs a day but using your head', principle. Supplied with sane storytelling, nice academic research bells and whistles, large statistical pool and a nice self-review of methods used (incl. their up and downsides). Very clear writing. Rational line of thinking. Good text structuring. Well thought-out considerations. Lots of good logic (which is rarer than A surprisingly sane account by a BCG alumnus and an academic on how to get work to be healthier and more productive. Basically: the 'work not 12 hrs a day but using your head', principle. Supplied with sane storytelling, nice academic research bells and whistles, large statistical pool and a nice self-review of methods used (incl. their up and downsides). Very clear writing. Rational line of thinking. Good text structuring. Well thought-out considerations. Lots of good logic (which is rarer than one would want to think). What's not to like about this goodness? 🐅✁✃✁✃✁✃ 🐅Takeouts:🐅 🐅✁✃✁✃✁✃ 🐅Continuous learning. 🐅Loops at work. Opportunities For Improvement. 🐅10 000 hrs of practice is just one of the ways to go about learning new things. Loops can shorten that time period significantly. 🐅Doing less but better. 🐅Passion needs to go w/o self-harm. 🐅Dreams should be followed with due caution and diligence. 🐅Small drivers of big results. 🐅Being not just SMART but smart. 🐅Asking questions is the way to go. Stupid questions rule! 'What if' ones as well!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Paul Fulcher

    Morten T. Hansen 2018 book Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More reminded me in many respects of Angela Duckworth's Grit and Carol Dweck's Mindset, both of which he references, although the title is more directly self-explanatory and the focus is very much on the world of work. He develops seven rules (and yes he admits - 'it always seems to be 7 doesn't it') for high performers, based on a detailed study of 5000 people. There are the usual anecdotes in the boo Morten T. Hansen 2018 book Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More reminded me in many respects of Angela Duckworth's Grit and Carol Dweck's Mindset, both of which he references, although the title is more directly self-explanatory and the focus is very much on the world of work. He develops seven rules (and yes he admits - 'it always seems to be 7 doesn't it') for high performers, based on a detailed study of 5000 people. There are the usual anecdotes in the book, but it is backed up by statistics, and (unusually and pleasingly for a book of this nature) statistics that feel robust, are explained in detail in an appendix and where he acknowledges and addresses the potential limitations of his methods. Of personal takeaways, his advice to match passion and purpose certainly resonated with my professional life, and it was interesting to see him take the well-documented (see e.g. Grit) concept of 'deliberate practice', which has been drawn from observations on world class sportspeople, musicians, and adapt it much more practically for a work environment, suggesting taking just 15 minutes a day to put the idea into practice. If one had a criticism it would be, oddly, that the book is too comprehensive - 7 ideas, all of which are quite fundamental, doesn't lead to one easy takeaway and can be hard to put into practice, particularly when there are other books and concepts as well. But given the key link in all 7 of Hansen's practices is to focus on what is important to you, the reader is well advised to pick one of the areas to study and try to implement - do less, then obsess, as Hansen says.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tony Balfour

    A few gems buried amongst the plethora of slice of life examples that were all too easy to skip by page 50. Like almost all "business" books this one would have been a better long essay than a book. If you want to get the gems and avoid the silt - jump to the concise summaries at the end of each chapter, and if they excite you, go back and skim that chapter. You'll get 80% of the books value by just reading the summaries. And they are worth it. A few gems buried amongst the plethora of slice of life examples that were all too easy to skip by page 50. Like almost all "business" books this one would have been a better long essay than a book. If you want to get the gems and avoid the silt - jump to the concise summaries at the end of each chapter, and if they excite you, go back and skim that chapter. You'll get 80% of the books value by just reading the summaries. And they are worth it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Keerthana Gopalakrishnan

    This is a fairly useful book. I picked it up as I started my first job to be able to get better on managing work. Most insights from the book are derived from a fairly generalised and large survey of workers in the United States. These derivations are also quite practical to be put to use in daily life and helps you anticipate outcomes of organisational decisions and decide how to participate. One of my favourite parts of the book was about collaboration: who stands to gain in a collaboration an This is a fairly useful book. I picked it up as I started my first job to be able to get better on managing work. Most insights from the book are derived from a fairly generalised and large survey of workers in the United States. These derivations are also quite practical to be put to use in daily life and helps you anticipate outcomes of organisational decisions and decide how to participate. One of my favourite parts of the book was about collaboration: who stands to gain in a collaboration and therefore whether you should take part or not, how to measure a collaboration: by goals, not activities, that collaboration for the sake of collaboration is useless. Another lesson I liked was "Do less, then obsess". It emphasised on the 80-20 rule, on identifying and accomplishing work that is most rewarding, and cutting out waste by focusing. A great read for anyone at their first job!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Really useful tips. This book both reassured me that the majority of my work habits are fundamentally good and helped me identify ways to improve my work life (and sanity!). Recommended.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    Hansen undertook a 5 year study to find out what makes top performance at work. He's also worked with Jim Collins on his follow up to Good to Great, so Hansen has credibility. While he frames his 7 keys to performing better as a challenge to the conventional wisdom, the ideas have been around. But those ideas have not been wrapped up together and do not have the credibility of Hansen's study. The first and most important key - work less, then obsess. Hansen gives the example of the 91 year old t Hansen undertook a 5 year study to find out what makes top performance at work. He's also worked with Jim Collins on his follow up to Good to Great, so Hansen has credibility. While he frames his 7 keys to performing better as a challenge to the conventional wisdom, the ideas have been around. But those ideas have not been wrapped up together and do not have the credibility of Hansen's study. The first and most important key - work less, then obsess. Hansen gives the example of the 91 year old three star sushi chef who only makes 20 types of sushi in a restaurant with no bathroom underneath the stairs to the subway. The chef's singular focus on perfecting sushi earned him three Michelin stars not the decor. He also leads this chapter with the story of the team that first reached the south pole and survived, they had less money and less modes of transportation than the better financed team. But since they had fewer resources they focused on getting the best dogs and only sled dogs. The other team was spread thin and had coordination issues - those are the problems with doing too much. Most people who read Hansen do too much. Ryan Holiday in Perennial Best Seller encourages a draw-down period and a singular focus. Cal Newport does as well in Deep Work. These books lack Hansen' study and seem to rely on anecdotes. The authors seem armaturist compared to Hansen. Second, the next step after doing less is to redesign your job to focus on providing value rather than goals. SMART goals have come under criticism for leading people to focus on the the wrong the things. The Tyranny of Metrics by Jerry Mueller also brings this up - people measuring the wrong things just because they can be measured. Third is your learning loop. This could be my favorite chapter because I already took the idea of using a feedback loop from product management in agile development and applied it to work in my own LinkedIn post https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/you-jo... Fourth is passion and purpose. Hansen is right that following your passion is terrible advice. He advocates linking it with purpose - providing value. A lot this too is simply rethinking a job to see the greater good that it achieves. Every job helps someone - start with that and then make it bigger. You are helping a bigger goal that that person. What Hansen misses Cal Newport add in his So Good They Can't Ignore you book - you need to have already practiced the skills to go along with passion and purpose. The next three keys focus on working together. I found these less helpful although there is a general idea that we work together too much in some cases. Fifth is Forceful Champions. People inside and outside an organization do not make decisions rationally - see Scott Adams' Win Bigly or Robert Cialdini's Influence and Pre-suasion. Hansen encourages appealing to emotions because facts and reason don't work. Cialdini's work is more about selling outside the company, bringing the same tactics inside is tougher. I know that it can be done, but you risk everyone hating you. With customers it's different because you don't have to see them everyday and they know they are being sold. Long term these transactional tactics hurt relationships ,the people you have to work with are not going to like it. It is successful and they will like you less because of your success and tactics. Hansen doesn't acknowledge that as a cost of getting ahead. Sixth is Fight and Unite, Hansen states we have too many meetings, true, because people are unprepared, true, or don't pay attention, true. People are afraid to differ, true, or if they do it becomes personal, all too true. Hansen gives some suggestions for encouraging vigorous debate and then uniting behind the final outcome. This is what successful companies do. Seventh is the two sins of collaboration - under and over collaboration. Go back to focusing on value to find the Goldie locks. Putting all seven ideas together, supporting them with data and anecdotes, and writing in an easy to read manner make this a five star book. I read it over the course of one day. Seven is the magic number, this a more practical and modern 7 Habits of Highly Effective people, which is just what the author was going for.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Brant

    This was a good read. On page 198 the definition of burn-out made me sit up and shake my head. I thoroughly enjoyed the re-worked twin ideas of passion and purpose. In particular, the notion that there are many different kinds of professional passion (achievement, creative, people, learning, and competence). Finally, I personally could benefit from the practice of "do less and then obsess.". Enjoy! This was a good read. On page 198 the definition of burn-out made me sit up and shake my head. I thoroughly enjoyed the re-worked twin ideas of passion and purpose. In particular, the notion that there are many different kinds of professional passion (achievement, creative, people, learning, and competence). Finally, I personally could benefit from the practice of "do less and then obsess.". Enjoy!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tyler Weir

    If you’ve read Grit(Duckworth) and Mindset(Dweck) I think you’ll appreciate this book. I loved it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Yiwen

    Just read the first chapter and you will get the gist.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    Gives a catchy, rhyming name to basic common sense and supports it with an anecdote.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Carsten Hansen

    This book asks some important questions, why do some people perform better than others with comparable skills, why do some deliver higher quality work and use less time.? These important questions and it makes for an interesting book with a number of surprising and interesting findings. Overall, I found a lot of the conclusions could be used directly to improve my work output, both in terms of quality and speed and also how I can improve upon my habits outside of work. The only detractor for me This book asks some important questions, why do some people perform better than others with comparable skills, why do some deliver higher quality work and use less time.? These important questions and it makes for an interesting book with a number of surprising and interesting findings. Overall, I found a lot of the conclusions could be used directly to improve my work output, both in terms of quality and speed and also how I can improve upon my habits outside of work. The only detractor for me was the fact that the book is very scientific in its approach and the roughly last 20% was used for references, bibliography and such.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jorge DeFlon

    It is an easy-to-follow, coherent and informative book on how you can excel at work in this digital age regardless of your industry. It presents seven clear principles that the data shows that if you follow them, it is very likely that you will become one of the best employee and / or manager of your organization. highly recommended -------------------------- Es un libro fácil de seguir, coherente e informativo sobre cómo puede ser excelente en el trabajo en esta era digital. independientemente de It is an easy-to-follow, coherent and informative book on how you can excel at work in this digital age regardless of your industry. It presents seven clear principles that the data shows that if you follow them, it is very likely that you will become one of the best employee and / or manager of your organization. highly recommended -------------------------- Es un libro fácil de seguir, coherente e informativo sobre cómo puede ser excelente en el trabajo en esta era digital. independientemente de su industria. presenta siete principios que los datos muestran que si los sigues, es muy probable que te encuentres con los mejores empleados y / o gerentes de tu organización. muy recomendable.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lloyd

    This is brilliant! Concrete, understandable, data-backed, and applicable behaviors for me to be more successful in work and life! I greatly look forward to exploring these ideas with colleagues and friends. The author makes it very accessible with phrases like “passion and purpose” aka p-squared. I didn’t read much of the final section where the author unpacks their research and statistical methods, but it gives me confidence in the material and is sorry missed from most self-help books.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    Great at Work by Morten Hansen is a book about improving your performance in the workplace. Hansen distills workplace performance into seven elements which, based on his research, have the largest impact on your productivity at work. These are divided into two groups: elements related to how you personally work and elements related to how you work with others. A recurring theme among the elements is focus, narrowing the scope of what you do to target the most important activities of your work. H Great at Work by Morten Hansen is a book about improving your performance in the workplace. Hansen distills workplace performance into seven elements which, based on his research, have the largest impact on your productivity at work. These are divided into two groups: elements related to how you personally work and elements related to how you work with others. A recurring theme among the elements is focus, narrowing the scope of what you do to target the most important activities of your work. Hansen provides a number of case studies to support his analysis; however, these are the weakest part of the book. Each case study places the worker in a very cut and dry scenario where it is straightforward to identify the issue at hand and respond accordingly. In practice, key decision points in the workplace tend to be highly complex with a number of benefits and drawbacks associated with each potential action. Additionally, one of the largest factors impacting productivity, the availability of resources, is completely omitted throughout the book. Great at Work strives for greatness, but only achieves mediocrity in its execution.

  19. 5 out of 5

    KC

    Work smarter, not harder/longer. Easy right? Why would we want to work dumb? This book addresses those questions and provides a framework on how exactly to "work smart" The seven practices of work smart are: (1) Work scope practice—Select a tiny set of priorities and make huge efforts in those chosen areas (2) Targeting—Focus on creating value, not just reaching preset goals (3) Quality learning—Eschew mindless repetition in favor of better skills practice (4) Inner motivation—Seek roles that match y Work smarter, not harder/longer. Easy right? Why would we want to work dumb? This book addresses those questions and provides a framework on how exactly to "work smart" The seven practices of work smart are: (1) Work scope practice—Select a tiny set of priorities and make huge efforts in those chosen areas (2) Targeting—Focus on creating value, not just reaching preset goals (3) Quality learning—Eschew mindless repetition in favor of better skills practice (4) Inner motivation—Seek roles that match your passion with a strong sense of purpose (5) Advocacy—Shrewdly deploy influence tactics to gain the support of others (6) Rigorous teamwork—Cut back on wasteful team meetings, and make sure that the ones you do attend spark vigorous debate (7) Disciplined collaboration—Carefully pick which cross-unit projects to get involved in, and say no to less productive ones I would have expected things like leveraging existing assets, automation, and investment in labor-saving skills and tools to be on the list, but perhaps that is all contained in #2. The bottom line is, if you are working more than 50 hours per week, the joke is on you.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Wow, there is a lot in this book. Though I read it through once, I can tell I'm going to need to come back to chapters after I've tackled some of the recommendations. In fact, that's a recommendation of the book -- start with one thing, and give it 15 minutes of the day, with careful measurement of your progress and feedback. I also really like the "do less, then obsess" theme suggesting that we need to work smarter, not more, or harder. The book is also full of great examples. Wow, there is a lot in this book. Though I read it through once, I can tell I'm going to need to come back to chapters after I've tackled some of the recommendations. In fact, that's a recommendation of the book -- start with one thing, and give it 15 minutes of the day, with careful measurement of your progress and feedback. I also really like the "do less, then obsess" theme suggesting that we need to work smarter, not more, or harder. The book is also full of great examples.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Annett

    Well researched! Great fundamental tips to integrate into your life. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking to increase their performance habits. A great way to see how to be at your best in both home life and work life.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cody Ray

    Nice overview of an academic study across 5000+ employees. The author presents a framework for increasing your own performance in the workplace with 7 rules to put into practice. My main concern is that it could've gotten the entire message across much more concisely. But still well worth the read. Nice overview of an academic study across 5000+ employees. The author presents a framework for increasing your own performance in the workplace with 7 rules to put into practice. My main concern is that it could've gotten the entire message across much more concisely. But still well worth the read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Katie Crawford

    I would recommend this to anyone who has been employed, is currently employed, or will be employed in the future. It’s fun. It’s accessible. It’s got stories. It’s a quick read AND I learned a ton.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Janine Sneed

    1.) Top performers “do less, then obsess” so they can focus and excel at what they select 2.) Ruthlessly prioritize what you collaborate on so it doesn’t suck out all of your time (see 1) 3.) Redesign work for value not productivity (after 50-65 hours, your impact is worse) 4.) Pick 1 skill at a time and improve on it 5.) Pick a job where passion and purpose align 6.) Part time people on full time projects = part time results. If you go in, go all in.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jacquelyn Merryfield

    I really liked this. Took away a few things I want to implement in my own work.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Darren

    Many people assume that a company’s top performers are often those who are working all-possible hours, working their metaphorical tail off and achieving a lot in the process. The reality can be different, and often those who have achieved ‘greatness’ at work are working less, but better. This book shows you how this can be achieved. The core of this book and its message is built on extensive research and observation of over 5,000 managers and front-line employees, conducted over five years. You m Many people assume that a company’s top performers are often those who are working all-possible hours, working their metaphorical tail off and achieving a lot in the process. The reality can be different, and often those who have achieved ‘greatness’ at work are working less, but better. This book shows you how this can be achieved. The core of this book and its message is built on extensive research and observation of over 5,000 managers and front-line employees, conducted over five years. You might argue that it is based around, or confirms, existing preconceptions that focussed, quality work can achieve more in less time than the opposite that is often seen as the norm, viewed often as a ‘badge of honour’ or ‘badge of war’. This may be obvious and true, but the ‘how’ (is it achieved) part is the possibly unanswered bit. The author brings this research to light and makes it actionable through his so-called seven ‘work smarter’ practices that are said to be applicable to any business sector and can be utilised by anyone. Application, rather than special knowledge, is the key. Accompanying information about the individual practices are mini case-studies, taken from the research to highlight matters through a real-world lens, such as a Japanese sushi chef, whose simple preparation has led to his restaurant (hidden away under a subway station underpass) being awarded three Michelin stars. It was enjoyable and informative, with each chapter concerning one specific ‘work smarter’ practice that is concluded with the means to self-evaluate your own performance, strengths and weaknesses. Once you know yourself better, the packaged advice can help you find a personal route to this effective, credible success. It seemed to be a good package, even if you don’t consider you are so ineffective or otherwise in need of change. We can all do with a bit of polishing to what we do, and if we are as-perfect as we believe, what’s the harm in checking out an otherwise credible book to get confirmation that we cannot improve on perfection (no matter how delusional we may, in fact, be). The book’s price is more than reasonable for what you get. It is something you may consult on many occasions and even after any analysis and ‘remedial work’ that may be necessarily, there is a good chance that you will dip back into it and find a different interpretation or nugget to extract for future use. It is definitely worthy of closer inspection, whether you are a boss/manager looking to inspire your staff better, or a ‘humble worker’ wanting to maximise your work effect whilst minimising your presence at work!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ceil

    Good solid research and discussion of the difference between activity (necessary and not even close to sufficient for success) and accomplishment (ideally with the least activity possible) -while Hansen doesn't frame the argument that way, it's a terrific contribution to the growing literature that says the most successful people - as Warren Buffet says - "say no to almost everything." That lets them, as Hansen says, "do less. Then obsess" over what you do do. Other nuggets: Focus on creating val Good solid research and discussion of the difference between activity (necessary and not even close to sufficient for success) and accomplishment (ideally with the least activity possible) -while Hansen doesn't frame the argument that way, it's a terrific contribution to the growing literature that says the most successful people - as Warren Buffet says - "say no to almost everything." That lets them, as Hansen says, "do less. Then obsess" over what you do do. Other nuggets: Focus on creating value instead of on achieving goals Engineer trust - fast (without it, collaboration can't happen, and without collaboration, organizations can't thrive) Know when to listen and when to speak (he has excellent suggestions for each) Achieve your goals through a combination of logic, appeals to the heart, and "smart grit"

  28. 5 out of 5

    The Harry L. Davis Center for Leadership

    You’ve heard it before: Work smarter, not harder. Morten Hansen’s latest book, Great at Work, brings new meaning to that hackneyed idea with a set of seven work-smart practices that apply in a wide range of industries and functions. Hansen and his team undertook a comprehensive study of individual performance at work, and tested their theories in a survey of 5,000 managers and employees—from ER nurses to CEOs. They share seven practices that anyone can partake in to become great at work. This bo You’ve heard it before: Work smarter, not harder. Morten Hansen’s latest book, Great at Work, brings new meaning to that hackneyed idea with a set of seven work-smart practices that apply in a wide range of industries and functions. Hansen and his team undertook a comprehensive study of individual performance at work, and tested their theories in a survey of 5,000 managers and employees—from ER nurses to CEOs. They share seven practices that anyone can partake in to become great at work. This book follows its own advice, in that it delivers more value per unit of time spent reading it than the typical business treatise. In seven short chapters—one for each practice—you’ll get examples, evidence, and instruction on how to do it yourself. Hansen and his team indicate which practices have the best returns for your performance, and also, crucially, your well-being. The inspiration for this book and Hansen’s research will be familiar to any professional who has looked around the room and resolved to do better: a colleague who made it look easy. —Chelsea Vail, Associate Director of Communications and Events, The Harry L. Davis Center for Leadership

  29. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    The book is logically structured around the 7 practices to be great at work: Mastering Your Work * Put a lot of effort into a few important priorities. * Create value not just reach goals (for example, the report was done on time but does anyone read it). * Develop useful skills (don't become complacent in routine tasks). * Seek roles that match your purpose (what are you contributing to the world) and your passion (how much you enjoy what you're doing). Mastering Work With Others * Gain support from o The book is logically structured around the 7 practices to be great at work: Mastering Your Work * Put a lot of effort into a few important priorities. * Create value not just reach goals (for example, the report was done on time but does anyone read it). * Develop useful skills (don't become complacent in routine tasks). * Seek roles that match your purpose (what are you contributing to the world) and your passion (how much you enjoy what you're doing). Mastering Work With Others * Gain support from others to accomplish objectives. * Cut back on wasteful meetings and have vigorous debates in meetings. * Carefully pick cross-functional projects. There are chapters for each practice filled with examples and guidance. The main point is to do less but obsess. Be great at doing a few important things. That is more valuable than doing a lot of things but at a mediocre level.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kaspars Koo

    Tried to give this book several chances, but somehow I just couldn't force myself to read it. This seems like one of those books that are actually an article posing as a book. An additional bonus which is not in similar books is that there are a lot of funny "research numbers" in this book. However, if this is the first book on the topic you are reading, this still might be useful for you. Tried to give this book several chances, but somehow I just couldn't force myself to read it. This seems like one of those books that are actually an article posing as a book. An additional bonus which is not in similar books is that there are a lot of funny "research numbers" in this book. However, if this is the first book on the topic you are reading, this still might be useful for you.

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