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The Way We're Working Isn't Working: The Four Forgotten Needs That Energize Great Performance Hardcover – May 18, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Schwartz, CEO of the Energy Project, stretches an obvious thesis to the breaking point in his plaint on how the American workplace—theoretically where technology has allowed us to reach for more, bigger, faster—has bred an atmosphere in which workers have become disengaged from their work. We fail to take care of ourselves, he points out, and end up undermining our health, happiness, and productivity. Using a series of quadrants describing the emotional workings of both employees and companies, he argues that nothing is gained—and much is lost—by constantly pushing people to achieve more and more in less time and with fewer resources; rejuvenation and rest are necessary for creative breakthroughs and broader perspectives. 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. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Schwartz coauthored the bestseller The Power of Full Engagement (2003) and is the CEO of The Energy Project, bringing effective energy management coaching to organizations such as Google, Ford, Sony, Toyota, and the Los Angeles Police Department. His project and this book are shedding light on what most working folks know but don’t like to talk about: that most of us are not fully engaged or satisfied in our work environment; that we are constantly running on an unsustainable schedule that does not allow for enough sleep; and in addition to being physically tired, we are not allowed the kind of emotional, creative, and spiritual outlets that we need to be fulfilled. Schwartz notes that people at work are expected to run continuously, like machines, but unlike machines or computers, people do not function well when forced to work and process information on a continual basis, but need a balance of activities that allow for both expending and recovering energy. He proposes solutions for business leaders to maximize human potential by embracing our need for both effort and renewal. --David Siegfried

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; 1 edition (May 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439127662
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439127667
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #595,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tony Schwartz is the President and CEO of The Energy Project, which helps individuals and organizations perform at their best. Tony's last book, The Power of Full Engagement, co-authored with Jim Loehr, was a Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestseller and has been translated into 28 languages. Tony's article "Manage Energy, Not Time: The Science of Stamina," co-authored with Catherine McCarthy, was published in the October, 2007 Harvard Business Review. Tony co-authored the #1 worldwide bestseller The Art of the Deal with Donald Trump and also wrote What Really Matters: Searching for Wisdom in America.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Think Rule #5.

Alan Webber, co-founder of Business Week, wrote that change is a math formula. Change happens when the cost of status quo is greater than the risk of change. C(SQ) > R(C).

Tony Schwartz has written a provocative book that takes a serious look at the one area in business that seems immune to change -- the human costs of doing business in the digital age, Schwartz, the co-author of The Power of Full Engagement provides a proven prescription for making positive changes in the way we work.

The Way We're Working Isn't Working makes a compelling case that we're neglecting four core needs that energize performance. The book is an extension of the ideas Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy introduced in the Harvard Business Review in 2007. (Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time.)

Their premise is deceptively simple: "The furious activity to accomplish more with less exacts a series of silent costs: less capacity for focused attention, less time for any given task, and less opportunity to think reflectively and long term."

In other words, less energy. And perhaps more importantly, less sustainable energy.

The insights that Schwartz and his colleagues at The Energy Project bring to The Way We're Working Isn't Working are based on their experiences working with such organizations as Wachovia, The Cleveland Clinic, the LA Police Department, Sony and Ernst & Young and IBM.

Like Dan Pink's book, Drive, this book challenges the notion of what truly works in today's business environment. While Pink focuses on motivation, Schwartz challenges the idea of how to enhance the performance of employees -- and much of it is counter-intuitive to how we do business.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are countless books written on how to improve your performance at work, be healthier, and live a better life. 'The Way We're Working Isn't Working' should be at the top of the reading list. Tony presents a compelling case on how our current approach to life (going flat out) is harming us, our families, and our organizations. He also shares a multitude of simple, pragmatic and powerful tips on how to build your capacity to better deal with the many demands we face every day. I have seen his ideas radically transform many friends and co workers who are more energized, engaged, and enjoying life than ever before.
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Format: Hardcover
I am often asked to review and blog about new business books coming to market, and only rarely do I oblige. When Tony asked me to review his new book, I said yes immediately. His ideas around managing energy as opposed to time resonated with me years ago after reading, The Power of Full Engagement and play a big role in my own consulting practice. The energy management concept, if explored to its full potential, can do more to transform an organization than any other single component.

The great thing about Tony's new book is that it is full of sound research that reinforces what Tony is teaching and helps us to really understand why we do the things we do, even when they are counter productive to our goals. More importantly, he provides practical advise on how to begin the process of change that will work for anyone in any stage of their career, or any organization at any level of health. Not only will you find great information to help you become a better employee, leader, or manager, but you will also find that this book will help you become the person, spouse, parent, child, and sibling that your heart desires.

If any of the following statements resonate with you, buy it NOW

* I always feel like I am behind in my work and will never catch up
* I want my team to be more productive
* I desperately want to find balance between my work life and home life
* I want my team to be more accountable and responsible
* I struggle with the daily distractions of email, phone calls, and endless request for my time and can't get any of my own work done
* My company does a poor job of retaining employees
Comment 57 of 67 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
American managers are in denial about the fact that their teams are comprised of human beings.

Content with a data-defying strategy of squeezing as much work as possible out of their teams for as little compensation as possible, these self-congratulating fools close their eyes to the facts and resort to childish name-calling (e.g. "soft") to anyone who dares suggest that human physiology and psychology are important factors in workplace productivity.

What if there were facts, though, about how people work that could multiply your productivity with only incremental additional costs?

I'm excited to come across a kindred spirit in Tony Schwartz in his new book, "The Way We're Working Isn't Working."

I've long advocated that people are an amazing, if complex, asset into which we should invest not a faceless, annoying expense that we should minimize.

Schwartz provides invaluable insights into how the human beings function and provides the practical means to transform these insights into a more energetic, renewing, and yes, productive workplace.

Specifically he looks at human physiology, emotions, our minds, and our spirituality. Far from hyping the latest feel-good fad, Schwartz methodically supports his case with data. If you look at the facts, certain things are true about what makes people thrive, commit, care, and work hard. On the downside, certain factors cause people to wear down, avoid risk, blame others and otherwise distance themselves from their work.

Far from being "soft," it is those leaders who have the courage, honesty and wisdom to face what I describe as "the hard facts about working with people" who have the mettle it takes to face the complex issues facing business going forward.
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