Great at Work

Great at Work Book Cover Great at Work
Morten Hansen
Simon & Schuster

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!