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Just Enough: Tools for Creating Success in Your Work and Life Hardcover – March 2, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (March 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471458368
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471458364
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,520,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Review

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

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Customer Reviews

I read a very interesting book this weekend "Just Enough" by Howard Stevenson.
Philippe de Gaspé Beaubien
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.
Denise
I like that the book explores both the business and personal aspects of creating enduring success.
Michael Zapolin (Chairman: Music.com)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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 By redroomlaura on August 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
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 By Michael Zapolin (Chairman: Music.com) on March 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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 By Denise on April 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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 By Dr Conrade Yap on July 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
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.

THINGS TO APPLAUD
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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