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The Way We're Working Isn't Working: The Four Forgotten Needs That Energize Great Performance Paperback – February 1, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Now, more than ever, we need a unified science of energy--what makes us work (and what doesn't.) [Schwartz] begins to unlock essential insights we're going to need to get more done and feel better while we're doing it.” (Seth Godin, blogger and bestselling author of Linchpin)

“I’ve read dozens of books about leadership and management. What makes this book unique and essential is the integrated and comprehensive way it addresses the challenge of getting the best from people. At Zappos we deeply believe that truly meeting our employees’ needs is what inspires their great performance. [Be Excellent At Anything] lays out a compelling new workplace paradigm and a detailed roadmap for organizations, leaders and individuals seeking to gain true competitive advantage, even as the rules change every day.” (Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos.com)

“[Tony Schwartz] is essential reading for anyone who wants a more productive and meaningful life. It’s less a self-help book than a peer-reviewed survival manual for the modern age ...[He] provides a road map for how to take back control of our lives from our faster-better-more-techno-merry-go-round culture.” (Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post)

"[Schwartz] takes a look at self-destructive behaviors that are common in the workplace, then gives a prescription for correcting each...entirely refreshing." (The Wall Street Journal)

"An engaging, thorough, and authoritative manual for optimal performance and for a rewarding life. Tony Schwartz has done it again. A business must read." (Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence)

About the Author

Tony Schwartz is the founder and president of The Energy Project, a consulting group that works with a number of Fortune 500 companies, including American Express, Credit Suisse, Ford, General Motors, Gillette, Master Card, and Sony.  He was a reporter for the New York Times, an associate editor at Newsweek, and a staff writer for New York Magazine and Esquire and a columnist for Fast Company.  He co-authored the #1 worldwide bestseller The Art of the Deal with Donald Trump, and after that wrote What Really Matters.  He co-authored the #1 New York Times bestseller The Power of Full Engagement with Jim Loehr. Jean Gomes is Managing Director of DPA, a London-based management consultancy specialising in leadership and culture change. For the past 20 years, he has been advising companies like Coca-Cola, Pfizer, Cable & Wireless, Sun Microsystems, Sony, ICL, The Home Office, Nokia and Intel in the US, Japan and Europe. He is also Chairman of The Energy Project Europe. Catherine McCarthy is the former COO of The Energy Project and currently an independent consultant.  At The Energy Project, Catherine delivered keynotes, facilitated training and coached executives at companies such as Google, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Ernst & Young, the Los Angeles Police Department and Goldman Sachs.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; Reprint edition (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451610262
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451610260
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really wish I would have read the reviews and book description more closely before buying. Instead, I purchased the paperback version and wasted $12. What a waste of time this book is – I have no idea how it was/is a New York Times Bestseller (according to cover of the book). It’s the same advice your mother has been giving you for years: get better sleep, eat right, exercise, and take care of yourself emotionally. Duh! No kidding, really?! Tell me something I don’t know for my $12, please!

Even the description of the book is quite telling. Here are a few sentences from the book review/description posted by Amazon: “Schwartz, CEO of the Energy Project, stretches an obvious thesis to the breaking point in his plaint…” and “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.

Not to mention the customer reviews. They look like paid or quid-pro-quo reviews to me. Something out of the Timothy Ferris model for getting good reviews on Amazon. Very few of them seem like genuine reviews. That sucks! (and the book does too!)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you are interested in the topic and have read many books ... perhaps this book doesn't include so many earth shattering new topics. However, there shouldn't be that many new things. It is the execution and this is where this book gave me some value. The author has a good way of explaining, giving examples and stays away from cliches.
I recommend this book, but don't expect completely new theories.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the exact same book as "The Way We're Working Isn't Working", just with a different title. I'll be returning it soon.
1 Comment 40 of 52 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
In the third paragraph of "Be Excellent at Anything: The Four Keys to Transforming the Way We Work and Live," Tony Schwartz and his coauthors write, "The first key is fierce intentionality about managing the four key sources of energy that fuel us: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual" (p. ix). This highlighting of intentionality as the first key is unfortunate, first because it is a loaded term that once exposed undercuts everything else in this book, and second, because it is not one of the four keys of the subtitle. The four keys of the subtitle are a crude synthesis of Jung's four psychic functions with the four highest needs of Maslow's famous hierarchy, and they are the organizing principles of the book. While Maslow's hierarchy is much more culturally determined and less universally human than is usually admitted (see Hofstede, Hofstede, and Minkov, 2010, "Cultures and Organizations," pp. 213-216), it is hardly controversial. A vast number of self-help books begin with it. Under these categories, Schwartz gives good if pedestrian advice about diet, exercise, getting enough sleep and implementing better work habits. His Jungian influence comes out in his defense of the role of intuition in creativity. Intuition, he says, is "not the magical thinking that psychics claim to have . . . . [but] a nonverbal route to knowledge that arises not from rational deduction, but from seeing and sensing more deeply" (p. 212). However, this is magical thinking. The "deepness fallacy" which is central to the Jungian approach is in evidence throughout the book under the trendy guise of "fierce intentionality."

Compare Schwartz's "Jungian" intuition with intuition as described in Daniel Kahneman's book "Thinking, Fast and Slow." Kahneman describes two sorts of intuition, expert and heuristic.
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26 Comments 112 of 154 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read a great deal of leadership and personal excellence related material. This book by far surpasses the usefulness of 99% of the books out there.
Originally titled, "The Way We Work Isn't Working," it makes a strong scientific case for getting more sleep, making time to meditate daily (and how to focus during meditation) and working in 90 minute bursts for maximum effectiveness.
But the book does more than provide logic as to why to adjust, but also how. The author shares stories of others, which makes the idea of change more real and accessible. I found the entire book compelling and very useful.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I think this book is an excellent synthesis of information gleaned from controlled studies and the author's professional experience coaching individuals and organizations. The main title is actually somewhat misleading. As the subtitle implies, it is really a book about how to be at your best, so that you can be maximally productive at whatever you're doing--with the side-benefit of being a happier, more well-balanced person. The principles can be applied to anybody, whether a white collar professional, an athlete, a student, a stay-at-home mom, etc. This book has helped me immensely, by causing me to examine my work-a-holic tendencies and recognize that they are actually making me less productive and diminishing my overall quality of life. The strategies in this book make sense and are very effective for me.
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Are you working over 10 hours a day non-stop in an effort to be more productive? Then you are fooling yourself. We are not machines and as humans we pulse. We take energy in we expend energy, we work we rest, we are awake, we sleep. Tony Swartz argues that it is energy more than time that we need to bring to our work to be more efficient. Some timely reminders of what is obvious and yet seemingly forgotten by millions of people everyday.”
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