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Just Enough: Tools for Creating Success in Your Work and Life [Kindle Edition]

Laura Nash , Howard Stevenson
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In Just Enough, top Harvard professors offer a revealing, research-based look at the true nature of professional success, helping people everywhere live more rewarding and satisfying lives. True professional and personal satisfaction seems more elusive every day, despite a proliferation of gurus and special methods that promise to make it easy. They conclude that many of the problems of success today can be traced back to unrealistic expectations and misconceptions about what success is and what constitutes it. The authors show where the happiest and most well-balanced among us are focusing their energy, and why, to help readers find more balance and satisfaction in their lives.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Defining success, learning how to achieve it and feeling satisfied with the results—all in a world where nothing ever seems to be enough—are the challenges addressed by the authors of this volume. Nash and Stevens, both of the Harvard Business School, believe that "everyone seems to be struggling with the Tantalus effect. This mythological character was punished with an eternal, raging thirst." As they point out, such constant striving means perpetual stress and no contentment. Per their definition, success isn’t measured by money alone; it involves four pillars of professional and personal life: happiness, achievement, significance and legacy. Illustrating their ideas with real examples (of both celebrities and non-celebrities), as well as with the ponderings of a few ancient philosophers, the authors explain what these pillars mean, how to define them for oneself, why "going for the max" is dangerous and how to calibrate one’s own version of "just enough." Though the prose seems excessively wordy for a book teaching readers how to eliminate excess, the topic is interesting and well researched—and likely to strike a chord with people juggling many demands in a fast-paced, success-hungry society.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"the best of this crop of books." (The New York Times, April 11, 2004)

Product Details

  • File Size: 1717 KB
  • Print Length: 330 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0471458368
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (May 2, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008NBZ9I6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #628,379 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The kaleidoscope of success April 12, 2004
Laura Nash and Howard Stevenson published an article that is adapted from their book, in the February issue of the Harvard Business Review (go to [...] and search for "Success that lasts"). If you are time-constrained, for $6 it is a very good way to get an idea of what the book covers. And you can download the article too.
This is a review of the article but of course the concepts are the same.
Success can be so elusive. The authors compare it to an Escher drawing of a staircase! They propose an interesting framework to help us capture our own definition of success. After all we are the ones living our lives. Why let anyone else decide for us?
In their view success comes from 4 irreducible components:
happiness (feelings of pleasure or contentment about your life); achievement (accomplishments that compare favorably against similar goals others have strived for); significance (the sense that you've made a positive impact on people you care about); and legacy (a way to establish your values or accomplishments so as to help others find future success).
But they note that unfortunately, "you cannot neatly categorize the realms of your life, assigning happiness to self, achievement to work, significance to family, legacy to community."
So, "no matter how noble, one goal can't satisfy all of a person's complex needs and desires." Actually, they say that since we have limited time and energy, we need to find a balance, something along the lines of less (in any one category) is more (overall).
To capture this, the authors have developed an interesting metaphor: The Kaleidoscope Strategy. It combines the four components with the realms of life: self, work, family, community. It brings structure to our exploration of what success means to us. The Kaleidoscope comes with a set of questions, to help us shed light on our findings.
Highly recommended.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I've had enough August 28, 2005
I don't know. I want to like this book. But it is just so long-winded! The brief stories about how others have found balance are inspiring, but are few and far between. Their concept is good, compelling, even motivating, yet it is overwhelmed by gads of unnecessary and distracting jabs at people who base their success on the "wrong" things (aren't these folks their audience?), as well as at the media for touting these people as successes. Skim it at the bookstore -- you'll get the overall (good) idea without wading through hours of self-grandizing text.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for every business person today! March 2, 2004
Kudos to Howard Stevenson and Laura Nash for writing about such an important topic. This book challenges our conventional understandings of success, and most importantly it gives us a blue print for finding happiness and peace of mind. I like that the book explores both the business and personal aspects of creating enduring success. This is one of those books that you read over and over, and each time you do you get even more out of it.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grateful Reader April 16, 2004
By Denise
This book is a most thoughtful and thorough look at that elusive feeling called fulfillment. It helped me find peace with decisions that I have made in the past, and will be a resource for the decisions I make in the future. I wish I had read it as a younger man as I was struggling with being pulled in so many directions. I gave a copy to my daughter and son-in-law who just had their first baby hoping it will guide them parent my first grandchild. The information is presented in an analytical style that I enjoyed very much. It is the most helpful guide I know for self-reflection and I strongly recommend it to almost everyone I care about.
Honorable Robert H. Bohn
Massachusetts Superior Court
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Just Enough" not Far Enough July 3, 2009
Title: Just Enough
Authors: Laura Nash and Howard Stevenson
Published: NJ: John Wiley, 2004

This is a welcome book on defining and explaining success through a refined paradigm of living a life of 'enough.' The authors a framework that incorporates 4 commonly used benchmarks in order to restate what true success means.

- Happiness is both in the 'here and now.'
- Achievement must be directly related to one's 'desired goals.'
- Significance is done via making a 'difference' in the lives of others.
- Legacy means leaving something behind that will contribute to the success of others.

MAIN POINT - The authors felt a need to contrast the world's notion of success being 'infinitely more' versus a framework of 'just enough.' Their core message is that "success is not about one thing nor an infinite number of things; it is about 'just enough." (x)

It is the authors' conviction that understanding authentic success is the key to unlocking impediments to overcoming difficulties in today's business environment. When these goals of happiness, achievement, significance and legacy are achieved, one will feel satisfied and will be able to say 'just enough.' These four categories will help one to ANTICIPATE, SET LIMITS, LEARN what shapes the goals, and how to DIRECT the right resources toward each goal.

I especially appreciate the clarity Nash and Stevenson brings toward the understanding of success. People have used the word 'success' so loosely that we often needs to be refreshed on the need to understand its true meaning. Firstly, the work is realistic as it is based on a study of more than 150 business case studies at the Harvard Business School.
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very insightful book
Excellent book on trying to balance life. Would definitely recommend for Type A personality people. Haven't finished it yet, but feel that it is an excellent book thus far.
Published 17 months ago by Jon
5.0 out of 5 stars a kaleidoscope strategy as our life stages evolve
In March 2004, Laura Nash and Howard Stevenson wrote Just Enough: Tools for Creating Success in Your Work and Life, a Harvard Business School publication that provides a... Read more
Published on August 3, 2011 by John T. Mooney
4.0 out of 5 stars When is "just enough" enough?
Everyone wants to succeed. But in a world where corporate CEOs carve out multimillion dollar contracts and Britney Spears is front-page news, society's view of success is entirely... Read more
Published on December 27, 2005 by Rolf Dobelli
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful message for the modern business people
Nash and Stevenson suggest us a nice wisdom that all of us can apply in our lives. Especially, this book reminds us how to balance our lives between materialistic value and eternal... Read more
Published on June 10, 2005 by Jong Hee Jo
5.0 out of 5 stars A realistic metaphor for enduring success
Even as we are constantly being pulled in several directions due to competing responsibilities, we all struggle to achieve balance in our lives. Read more
Published on April 25, 2005 by Mohit Misra
1.0 out of 5 stars "Just Enough" is more than enough.....
"Just Enough" is more than enough: A turgid, pretentious, strident, and wholly unoriginal piece of work. Read more
Published on July 13, 2004 by Robert Stearns
3.0 out of 5 stars Good framework / weak on existing social science
Authors have an excellent framework for considering these issues.
They seem to address the book to the "power and money mad" reader. Read more
Published on April 5, 2004 by D. Stone
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
I read a very interesting book this weekend "Just Enough" by Howard Stevenson. I liked it so much that I ordered a copy for each member of my family, spouses included. Read more
Published on March 4, 2004 by Philippe de Gaspé Beaubien
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