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)
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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
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