Do More Great Work


July 21, 2010

An interesting phenomenon that happens when you blog and start to get a following is that PR people come out of the woodwork to offer you the opportunity to get copies of the latest and greatest business books.  I’ve never fancied myself a book reviewer, so a majority of the time I don’t get the books because I don’t write with the purpose of promoting a bunch of stuff just so that I can get it for free.  BUT, once in awhile something catches my eye and I agree to check it out.  Rarely am I inspired to write about it, but today is one of those times when the moon and stars aligned and I found a book that I not only enjoyed reading, I want to share it with you.

Consider me your own Billy Mays, HR-style of course.

I received a copy of ‘Do More Great Work‘ by Michael Bungay Stanier.  I’ll be honest, the title didn’t really grab me.  There are many books that attempt to tell us how to try to do great work instead of good work. What got my attention was this:

“You work hard.  You put in the hours.  Yet, you feel like you are constantly treading water with good work that keeps you going but never quite moves you ahead.  Or worse, you are mired in bad work- endless meetings and energy-draining bureaucratic traps.”

So, that just described almost every working Joe I know.  What interested me even more is that the author gives fifteen maps (exercises) that require you to put pen to paper and analyze the work you are doing and gives you specific techniques to move the needle to doing more work that will challenge you and stretch your creativity.  Here are a few examples of the types of maps that are included:

  • What’s Required- Tool that helps you delineate your priorities with that of the organization
  • What’s Calling You- Helps you look at your life in general and then at work to plot out what is important to you and how you can spend more time in those areas
  • How Courageous Are You-  Learn what you will do vs. what you want to do.  Determine what is easiest to do vs. what tasks or projects will have the greatest impact
  • What to do when you lose your “Great Work” mojo

So there you have it.  I’m not getting paid to endorse this- I just got a free book.  I will tell you that visually, it’s different from 99% of the books out there.  It made me want to pick it up and write on the maps inside.  For me that’s huge because finding a tool I will actually make time to use is a challenging thing.  I haven’t used all fifteen maps yet, but after using five, I’m ready to plow ahead.

After all, who doesn’t want to do more great work?

*Michael Bungay Stainer is the founder and senior partner of Box of Crayons, a company that works with organizations to help them do more great work.  A Rhodes scholar who earned degrees in the arts and law, he is a popular speaker and was named Canadian Coach of the Year in 2006.  Check out his blog and follow him on Twitter (@BoxOfCrayons).

Do more great work
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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


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