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1001 Ways to Take Initiative at Work Paperback – October 1, 1999


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1001 Ways to Take Initiative at Work + 1001 Ways to Energize Employees + 1501 Ways to Reward Employees
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; 1st edition (October 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076111405X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761114055
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,165,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In 1001 Ways to Take Initiative at Work, Bob Nelson applies the formula behind his two previous books, 1001 Ways to Energize Employees and 1001 Ways to Reward Employees, and shows how any employee can advance his or her career by taking action, questioning authority, and thinking "outside the box." The book is filled with hundreds of stories about how workers, through simple initiatives, have made a difference at their companies--from the familiar story about the origins of Post-Its at 3M to how a Home Depot store manager helped a customer in a wheelchair. These stories are flanked by dozens of sidebars filled with short prescriptions for bettering the workplace and one's career (e.g., "Tactics for Influencing Others," "Don't Settle for Just Good Enough"). For Nelson, the key to fostering initiative is getting past the roadblocks that inhibits creativity. He cites a UCLA study that showed that by the "age five we engage in creative tasks 98 times a day, laugh 113 times, and ask questions 65 times. By the age of 44, however, the numbers shrink to 2 creative tasks a day, 11 laughs, and 6 questions." If your professional aspirations center on just getting by, then take a pass on this one. Those looking for practical career advice, however, would do well to give 1001 Ways to Take Initiative at Work a good look. --Harry C. Edwards

From the Back Cover

Bob Nelson has done it again! In this practical, timely book, he describes what employees can do to take more initiative in any job. Any employee (and supervisor, manager or owner) will find this book of enormous value! - Dr. Dean Spitzer, senior consultant, IBM Corporation, and author of SuperMotivation

"Bob Nelson's book shows how employees who take initiative not only create value for their organizations, but for themselves personally and professionally." - Dieter Huckestein, President, Hotel Division, Hilton Hotels Corporation

Whether you're an entry-level assistant or a VP working with the CEO, there's only one person responsible for your career--you. And here to help you realize your potential for success is management guru Bob Nelson, bestselling author of the 1001 Ways series. A unique motivational manual, 1001 Ways to Take Initiative at Work brings together hundreds of real-life examples, advice from business leaders, and the author's own techniques and exercises to show readers how to draw on inner creativity, develop self-leadership, set goals, take risks, and sell ideas.

"The biggest mistake you can make in life is to think you work for somebody else." -- Bob Nelson

TAKE ACTION--Elaine Crawford, a secretary at Johnsonville Foods, discovers an overlooked market segment, figures out how to reach it, pushers her idea through, and now runs a $3 million mail-order department.

QUESTION AUTHORITY--Feeling that the corporation is poorly managed, IBM programmer Jay Elliot writes a 20-page detailed letter to chairman Tom Watson, Jr.--and his career skyrockets.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX--Frustrated by bookmarks that keep falling out of his hymnal on Sundays, 3M engineer Art Fry creates the Post-It, today a $300 million business.

TRUST YOUR INTUITION--While still an administrative assistant at Zerox, Joanne Griffin senses opportunity in a project no one wants, directs a team to implement it, and is today a corporate Vice President of Enterprise Rent-A-Car.


More About the Author

Bob Nelson, Ph.D., is president of Nelson Motivation, Inc., a founding board member of the National Association for Employee Recognition (NAER), and bestselling author, including the 1001 Ways series and Managing for Dummies. Dr. Nelson lives and works in San Diego, California.

Customer Reviews

It's OK but not a real page turner as far as motivational books go.
D. Campbell
Some of the stories *are* inspiring, but they aren't organized in such a manner that a reader can quickly assess what they address.
"fleajuice"
A review of 2 or 3 stars may be defendable but the misleading title annoys me to the point where I took stars away because of it.
biz_buzz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By biz_buzz on January 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
What a misleading title! This book should have been entitled 'Chicken Soup for the Worker.' It is that genre of books that this one should be compared to, not any book that REALLY provides genuine advice to "take initiative at work" (see some "real deal" suggestions below).
As others have already pointed out, this book consists of anecdotes about people making a difference at work...and that's really it. Some shreds of 'advice' are included, almost seemingly as an afterthought. Save yourself some money and read these kinds of cutesy anecdotes in any number of magazines.
A review of 2 or 3 stars may be defendable but the misleading title annoys me to the point where I took stars away because of it. Not impressed.
For the real deal; for books that REALLY advise you on "Ways to Take Initiative at Work" as well as your career, check out Tom Peters' "The Brand You 50" and Jeffrey Fox's "How to Become CEO." Good luck!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Pelke on December 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book should be renamed "1001 Stories About People Who Took Initiative at Work". There was very little actual advice to guide the reader on how to take initiative at work. Almost the entire book was composed of short anecdotes about others who did something special on the job. I found these stories to be somewhat interesting for the first 50 pages or so, but tired of them quickly. If you're looking for inspiration on how to increase your performance at work, I'd recommend looking elsewhere.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Doris Liang on January 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is useful in "initiating" the reader to build up his/her initiatives. I have made use of some of the suggested ways and cases to review my career again, and doing my mid-year apprasial! The book will be more easy to read if less examples are listed and more emphasis put on the suggestions.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By "fleajuice" on February 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
Author Nelson went to the Internet for a big portion of this book, and I've found that quotes people from the web ("A truly great worker does such and such" --netblabbymom) undermine the credibility of a business how-to book. I want EXPERT advice and ideas, not pithy sayings from the slacker in the cubicle down the hall.
Some of the stories *are* inspiring, but they aren't organized in such a manner that a reader can quickly assess what they address. I don't want to read through 15 anecdotes of how line workers in Wisconsin performed acts normally assigned to management to get the bolts to Michigan overnight-- not when I'm trying to figure out how to break the "we don't do it that way" cycle in my nonprofit association.
If you're pressed for time, leave this one on the shelf.
******As a side note-- "Top 10" reviewer Robert Morris gave this a five-star rating. I noticed that only one out of his last 40 reviews received under five stars-- it got four.********
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "thousandaireguy" on November 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book consists primarily of anecdote-length stories of people making a real difference in their work, including a couple of oft-told tales (you'd have to be living under a rock to not have heard of the 3M Post-It Notes story). That's all fine and good, but it is not quite what I was expecting. The title suggests the book is more of a workbook of HOW to take initiative at work as opposed to primarily being a collection of stories of people who already did it. True, there is a gray "tool box" advice section on a portion of some pages (the book is laid out more like a magazine than a typical book), but the advice was hardly an action plan to take initiative at work. A "good" book but hardly a "great" one.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By George Tutt on December 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
I am constantly on the lookout for ways to keep my employees (frontline personnel) focused on bringing value to the corporation and to their jobs. I like the fact that this book presents the ideas and concepts of initiative and then gives concrete examples of them put into practice. I have purchased 50 of these books to share with the 50 frontline personnel that I have responsibility for - this includes line workers and entry level supervisors. I am confident it will help keep us on the road to improvement and higher profits.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 31, 2006
Format: Paperback
It was 1999, when I purchased this book... It has been waiting on my bookself patiently to be read since then - I mean till recently. Although I had look at it couple of times before, I had almost the same negative impression with the some other reviewers here. I thought it sounds dull and ordinary.

However, my mind changed last weekend. As a person who temporarily depressed about his career expectations, I took the book from the shelf (you can't imagine the amount of dust it has!! just joking..) and I started to read "Part3: Your Career and Your Life" section of the book. I felt incredible good as there are lots of useful advise I can benefit, there are many people's sincere stories which I can appreciate and respect.

Maybe it is not a perfect book and obviously not written for All time tigers (who want to win-win and win, create hard to believe success stories, then become CEO - till the next lay off and start the game again if any time and energy left!) but it can be a loyal friend of the its owner during all over his/her career. I think it is worth to buy and listen what Bob says...
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