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The Way We're Working Isn't Working: The Four Forgotten Needs That Energize Great Performance (English Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Tony Schwartz , Jean Gomes , Catherine McCarthy
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“Now, more than ever, we need a unified science of energy--what makes us work (and what doesn't.) [Schwartz] begins to unlock essential insights we're going to need to get more done and feel better while we're doing it.” (Seth Godin, blogger and bestselling author of Linchpin)

“I’ve read dozens of books about leadership and management. What makes this book unique and essential is the integrated and comprehensive way it addresses the challenge of getting the best from people. At Zappos we deeply believe that truly meeting our employees’ needs is what inspires their great performance. [Be Excellent At Anything] lays out a compelling new workplace paradigm and a detailed roadmap for organizations, leaders and individuals seeking to gain true competitive advantage, even as the rules change every day.” (Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos.com)

“[Tony Schwartz] is essential reading for anyone who wants a more productive and meaningful life. It’s less a self-help book than a peer-reviewed survival manual for the modern age ...[He] provides a road map for how to take back control of our lives from our faster-better-more-techno-merry-go-round culture.” (Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post)

"[Schwartz] takes a look at self-destructive behaviors that are common in the workplace, then gives a prescription for correcting each...entirely refreshing." (The Wall Street Journal)

"An engaging, thorough, and authoritative manual for optimal performance and for a rewarding life. Tony Schwartz has done it again. A business must read." (Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence)


This book was previously titled, Be Excellent at Anything.

The Way We're Working Isn't Working is one of those rare books with the power to profoundly transform the way we work and live.

Demand is exceeding our capacity. The ethic of "more, bigger, faster" exacts a series of silent but pernicious costs at work, undermining our energy, focus, creativity, and passion. Nearly 75 percent of employees around the world feel disengaged at work every day. The Way We're Working Isn't Working offers a groundbreaking approach to reenergizing our lives so we’re both more satisfied and more productive—on the job and off.

By integrating multidisciplinary findings from the science of high performance, Tony Schwartz, coauthor of the #1 bestselling The Power of Full Engagement, makes a persuasive case that we’re neglecting the four core needs that energize great performance: sustainability (physical); security (emotional); self-expression (mental); and significance (spiritual). Rather than running like computers at high speeds for long periods, we’re at our best when we pulse rhythmically between expending and regularly renewing energy across each of our four needs.

Organizations undermine sustainable high performance by forever seeking to get more out of their people. Instead they should seek systematically to meet their four core needs so they’re freed, fueled, and inspired to bring the best of themselves to work every day.

Drawing on extensive work with an extra-ordinary range of organizations, among them Google, Ford, Sony, Ernst & Young, Shell, IBM, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Cleveland Clinic, Schwartz creates a road map for a new way of working. At the individual level, he explains how we can build specific rituals into our daily schedules to balance intense effort with regular renewal; offset emotionally draining experiences with practices that fuel resilience; move between a narrow focus on urgent demands and more strategic, creative thinking; and balance a short-term focus on immediate results with a values-driven commitment to serving the greater good. At the organizational level, he outlines new policies, practices, and cultural messages that Schwartz’s client companies have adopted.

The Way We're Working Isn't Working offers individuals, leaders, and organizations a highly practical, proven set of strategies to better manage the relentlessly rising demands we all face in an increasingly complex world.



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5.0 von 5 Sternen Es geht nicht um besser - es geht um lebenswerter ! 23. Dezember 2012
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Dieses Buch habe ich gekauft nachdem ich einen Blog von Tony Schwartz gelesen habe. Vorsicht! Dieses Buch verändert das Arbeitsleben und die Einstellung zum Leben. Es ist eine nützliche Anleitung zum produktiveren Arbeite ohne der Vorstellung zu verfallen, daß produktiv = mehr (länger Arbeiten) bedeutet. Das Buch ist didaktisch gut aufgebaut und kommt mit vielen Fallbeispielen daher. Es liest sich wie ein Roman und teilt sich so auf, daß der Autor die ersten zwei Kapitel für seine Thesen verwendet, weitere Kapitel im Mittelteil um diese Thesen zu stützen und vertiefen, und am Ende noch mal ein Kapitle zur Übersicht und Verinnerlichung. Ich habe viele "a-ha" Effekte erlebt. Manchmal habe ich auch etwas gefunden, was meine Frau als "kautzig" and mir bezeichnet, der Autor aber als richtig darstellt (manchmal ist eine Bestätigung soviel wert wie neu erlerntes).

Ich kann nur sagen: Dieses Buch kostet soviel weniger als es wert ist. Warum also noch weiter meine Rezension lesen und nicht gleich betsellen. Es lohnt sich. Versprochen.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Take a break... 14. Februar 2012
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I read the prequel to this book, 'The Power of Full Engagement' as part of a company-wide leadership development program a few years ago, and did not like it very much because it was too focused on squeezing out your last drop to continue functioning at a level that was basically not sustainable. Now, after the Lehman crash, the focus has changed. Schwartz acknowledges that what we are doing to ourselves at the workplace is damaging to our health, and to the bottom line of the companies we work for. He is showing us the evidence again that human beings cannot multitask, and that they need to sleep and eat to maintain optimal performance (yes, some of us have known this all along, but this is not how most organizations work). RENEWAL is the key word: a day should be a succession of max. 90 minute sprints, with BREAKS in between. There is some really good practical advice, some useful quotations for the next discussion with your boss, and some great quadrant charts (I have grown to like these since my MBA course). If only the proofreader had been allowed to operate in the upper right focus quadrant...
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Amazon.com: 4.2 von 5 Sternen  31 Rezensionen
16 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Don't waste your money - nothing new / helpful 5. Februar 2014
Von Kelly T - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
I really wish I would have read the reviews and book description more closely before buying. Instead, I purchased the paperback version and wasted $12. What a waste of time this book is – I have no idea how it was/is a New York Times Bestseller (according to cover of the book). It’s the same advice your mother has been giving you for years: get better sleep, eat right, exercise, and take care of yourself emotionally. Duh! No kidding, really?! Tell me something I don’t know for my $12, please!

Even the description of the book is quite telling. Here are a few sentences from the book review/description posted by Amazon: “Schwartz, CEO of the Energy Project, stretches an obvious thesis to the breaking point in his plaint…” and “All well and good, but the bulk of the book is then eaten up exhorting readers to get more sleep, exercise, eat better, and take care of their emotional health. While a reminder to cultivate engagement and mindfulness is always relevant to the modern business reader, the usable content is slim—and fluffed out beyond the point of readability.

Not to mention the customer reviews. They look like paid or quid-pro-quo reviews to me. Something out of the Timothy Ferris model for getting good reviews on Amazon. Very few of them seem like genuine reviews. That sucks! (and the book does too!)
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A good read 28. Februar 2013
Von Shahram Khorsand - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
If you are interested in the topic and have read many books ... perhaps this book doesn't include so many earth shattering new topics. However, there shouldn't be that many new things. It is the execution and this is where this book gave me some value. The author has a good way of explaining, giving examples and stays away from cliches.
I recommend this book, but don't expect completely new theories.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Exact same book, just a different title. 18. Mai 2011
Von Joe Inc. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
This is the exact same book as "The Way We're Working Isn't Working", just with a different title. I'll be returning it soon.
110 von 152 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Magical Thinking for gullible executives 1. Februar 2012
Von Mark Spradley - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
In the third paragraph of "Be Excellent at Anything: The Four Keys to Transforming the Way We Work and Live," Tony Schwartz and his coauthors write, "The first key is fierce intentionality about managing the four key sources of energy that fuel us: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual" (p. ix). This highlighting of intentionality as the first key is unfortunate, first because it is a loaded term that once exposed undercuts everything else in this book, and second, because it is not one of the four keys of the subtitle. The four keys of the subtitle are a crude synthesis of Jung's four psychic functions with the four highest needs of Maslow's famous hierarchy, and they are the organizing principles of the book. While Maslow's hierarchy is much more culturally determined and less universally human than is usually admitted (see Hofstede, Hofstede, and Minkov, 2010, "Cultures and Organizations," pp. 213-216), it is hardly controversial. A vast number of self-help books begin with it. Under these categories, Schwartz gives good if pedestrian advice about diet, exercise, getting enough sleep and implementing better work habits. His Jungian influence comes out in his defense of the role of intuition in creativity. Intuition, he says, is "not the magical thinking that psychics claim to have . . . . [but] a nonverbal route to knowledge that arises not from rational deduction, but from seeing and sensing more deeply" (p. 212). However, this is magical thinking. The "deepness fallacy" which is central to the Jungian approach is in evidence throughout the book under the trendy guise of "fierce intentionality."

Compare Schwartz's "Jungian" intuition with intuition as described in Daniel Kahneman's book "Thinking, Fast and Slow." Kahneman describes two sorts of intuition, expert and heuristic. Both are fast ways of problem solving in which we look for resemblances in our current problem to things we already know. The expert recognizes a resemblance to information that was stored in memory in the process of skill acquisition. This is complex information, and the ability to recall it quickly looks like magic to anyone lacking the expertise. However, "when the question is difficult and a skilled solution is not available . . . we often answer an easier one instead, usually without noticing the substitution" (p. 12). This answer is usually wrong. Most of what happens in individual as well as corporate economies can be explained statistically, but not causally. Kahneman says, "We easily think associatively, we think metaphorically, we think causally, but statistics requires thinking about many things at once" (p. 13). Intuition is not designed to think statistically. But, because it involves searching long-term memory for resemblances, it gives the appearance of "deepness."

"Intentionality" is the new age word du jour. Schwartz never tries to explain it. The modifier "intentional" or "intentionally" occur--by my low-tech word count--38 times, and each instance could be eliminated without changing the meaning in any way. The only thing that these words add is the magical aura of "deepness." The concept that apparently is supposed to explain this usage is Peter M. Gollwitzer's "implementation intentions" which he discussed in the July 1999 issue of American Psychologist devoted to theories about "acts of will." Schwartz' "fierce intentionality" amounts to bypassing "efforts at self-control [that] fail [and] . . . replacing our negative habits . . . with positive rituals--highly specific behaviors that become automatic over time" (Be Excellent, p. 36). However, Gollwitzer cautions that "Effective willing . . . seems more closely associated with "cold" skillful cognitive strategies than with the "hot" determined mobilization of effort" ("Implementation Intentions," American Psychologist 54, no. 7 (1999), p. 500). The new age sense of "intentionality" which Schwartz is drawing on is "hot" and determined. He often uses "determined" synonymously with "intentional". Further, Gollwitzer notes that intentions are more successfully implemented when framed as "promotion goals . . . rather than prevention goals" ("Implementation Intentions," p. 494). Clearly, industrial safety programs are so difficult to implement successfully because they require the effort of constant vigilance and not merely ritual automaticity. Gollwitzer also explains that learning goals (how to perform a task) are easier to obtain than performance goals (how well one can perform a task) ("Implementation Intentions," p. 493). In other words, while everyone can learn to perform a task to some degree, excellence is as elusive and unexplainable as it has always been.

Schwartz notes that "We are creatures of habit. Ninety-five per cent of our behaviors occur automatically" (Excellence, p.279). Apparently, he believes that "intentionality" is in the 5% of our actions that are consciously selected with which we can "prime" our automatic behaviors. However, in the same issue of American Psychologist, Irving Kirsch and Steven Lynn suggest that it is impossible to tell the difference between expectations of our responses and intentions, and that "at the moment of activation, all behavior is initiated automatically, rather than by conscious intention" ("Automaticity in Clinical Psychology," p. 508). Even if "a supervisory attentional system is a source of control over intentional behavior," it operates by activation and inhibition of the triggering of automatic processes which we perceive as intended actions ("Automaticity," p. 509). This leaves no room for "fierce intentionality" which is a fiction of Schwartz' magical thinking.

The misspelling of a key word in a text that has been proof read by three coauthors and at least as many editors should arouse suspicion. Has more been overlooked than a letter? On page 30, the letter "t" has dropped out of "antacoluthia," the stoic doctrine of the mutual entailment of the virtues, or different categories of excellence. The word "anacoluthia," which is the result of Schwartz' misspelling, is the doctrine of inconsequence. It assumes that causality is merely apparent. Its practitioners are holy autistic fools who refuse to suspect any intentions behind events.

Schwartz' footnote to "anacoluthia" refers to Michael Murphy's book The Future of the Body. In that book, "antacoluthia" is spelled correctly. Murphy mentions the term in his discussion of the interdependence of transformative practices. His source is John Dillon, former Berkeley and present Trinity College Dublin Professor of Classics. In his book The Middle Platonists, Dillon discusses each of the original sources for the term and suggests that while the 2nd century C.E. stoic Platonists taught antacoluthia, their contemporary Aristotelians argued against it. Murphy repeats Dillon's reference to Aristotle (Nichomachean Ethics 1144b32) where excellence is disambiguated into the excellence that is a disposition of the soul as opposed to the natural excellence of having internalized well the correct way to do something.

Dillon (but not Murphy) also mentions Plato's dialogue the Protagoras in which Socrates is on a mission to use irony and sophistic refutations to show his fellow Athenians that the great sophist Protagoras has intentionally confused the two senses of excellence by claiming that, for a price, he can teach anyone to be excellent at anything, on the grounds that the true excellences are all one. Socrates asks Protagoras why, if excellence can be taught, are the sons of good men often worthless? In his book "Thinking Fast and Slow," Daniel Kahneman has answered that question: regression to the mean. This is the statistical fact that any performance which greatly exceeds the average is due to luck, and the performer will never attain that kind of excellence again. On the basis of their company's outstanding performance one year, many CEOs have been hired at bigger company's where they are paid much more money in the expectation that they will repeat that performance. They never do. There is a statistical explanation for this, but there is no causal explanation. This exceptional kind of excellence is truly an anacoluthon: it follows from, or is caused by, nothing. Only a holy fool can accept this, so people are willing to pay large amounts of money for causal explanations, and many books with causal systems and methods for attaining excellence are sold. They are all wrong. Protagoras tells Socrates that if there is anyone who is even a little better than others at helping people to attain excellence, so much the better: He claims to be one such man. I'm sure that Tony Schwartz is also one such man. However, he should rethink his anacoluthia and retract his claim to be able to teach excellence at anything.

Lastly, the exercises in this book for developing creativity are based on the dated popular psychology of brain lateralization. Experimental evidence provides little support for correlating the structural differences between the sides of the brain with functional differences. The right brain is no more creative than the left brain, and exercises that try to tap that creativity are a waste of time.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen If you want to improve the quality of your life, start here 4. Mai 2013
Von Tuffbetty - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
I read a great deal of leadership and personal excellence related material. This book by far surpasses the usefulness of 99% of the books out there.
Originally titled, "The Way We Work Isn't Working," it makes a strong scientific case for getting more sleep, making time to meditate daily (and how to focus during meditation) and working in 90 minute bursts for maximum effectiveness.
But the book does more than provide logic as to why to adjust, but also how. The author shares stories of others, which makes the idea of change more real and accessible. I found the entire book compelling and very useful.
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