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VINE VOICEon February 7, 2010
The author, Michael Bungay Stanier, was the Canadian executive coach of the year in 2006 and is a business consultant. Core message of the book is that many of us do far too much good work ("treading water") or bad work (energy draining activities) and not enough great work (offering true satisfaction). Stanier opens the book by defining Bad Work, Good Work and Great Work. And then rolls into the 15 short and snappy exercises supported by highly effective visual maps to help guide you through the process via brainstorming, reflection, analysis of actual observations.

1) Where are you now? (Map current mix of bad, good and great work. Assess)
2) What's Great? (Recall peak moments. Assess)
3) What are you like at your best? (Recall emotions at peak moments. Map "I am this...not that")
4) Who's great? (Think of role models that are inspiring and assess why. Choose characteristic. Emulate & Visualize)
5) What's Calling You? (Scan landscape for great opportunities. Analyze. What surprised you? Inspired you?)
6) What's Broken? (Map aggravations that "erode the quality of our lives." Assess. What can you change)
7) What's Required? (Map all the work you do on daily or weekly basis into one of 4 quadrants: a) They Care/You Care (Sweet spot/Do more-convert from good to great work) (b) They Care/I don't care. (Stop doing), (c) I Don't Care/They Care (Must do - delegate or be more efficient-embrace adequacy." (d) You Care/They Don't Care (Do it Elsewhere; do it undercover; re-label it)

8) What's the Best Choice? (Map your options. Rate/rank the options.
9) What's Possible? (Map creative new ideas and explore what can be converted to great work)
10) What's the Right Ending? (Explore different ways forward - What can be, what's changed, new outcome)
11)How Courageous are You? (Map safe to impossible methods to do more great work)
12)What Will you do? (Map (a) what is easiest to do, (b) what would have the greatest impact, (c) what do you want to do, (d) what Will you do)
13)What Support Do You Need? (Map people who have influence, skills, or love you)
14)What's the Next Step? (Map what you will do, by when, what's the first step, what accountability do you need - then analyze)
15)Lost Your Great Work Mojo? (Revert back to steps 1-14 and assess)

And the book concludes with 4 great work truths:
Great Work Truth #1: Things only get interesting when you take full responsibility for the choices you make.
Great Work Truth #2: To do more Great Work, you must both narrow and broaden your gaze.
Great Work Truth #3: Decide what to say no to.
Great Work Truth #4: Stop Making everyone happy.
Great Work Truth #5: Ask for Help.

This is an exercise workbook (more than a book) where Stanier allows reader to work their way forward to a solution to finding their own Great Work. The book also includes relevant and thoughtful quotes (Camus, Edmund Hillary) and passages from contemporary coaches (Seth Godin, Dave Ulrich, Penelope Trunk).
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on October 27, 2017
If you actually DO the work that this book gives you every opportunity to do... easily and right IN the book in some places, you WILL do More Great Work. The downloads that accompany online give this book a lot more than it appears at first glance. I recommend you 1. Buy the book and an empty notebook to do work in. I recommend a good sized one at least 8.5 x 11. 2. Put in your calendar a period of time each week to work on it (better yet, do it with another 1-4 people as a way of supporting each other) and 3. Add a time in your calendar to just THINK about that week's work.... you will see fantastic results. Thank you, Michael. You truly add to my week with your wisdom and videos.
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on September 25, 2014
I had high hopes when I purchased this book. I liked the idea of exercises that would help lead the reader (me!) to do more great work. For me, unfortunately, the exercises started to drag on. I dutifully completed the first half of the book and the associated exercises before moving onto a more interesting book (Manage Your Day-to-Day by Jocelyn Glei), and I have never gone back to complete Do More Great Work...not sure I ever will.
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on August 1, 2017
Not a bad book, which might be helpful for people who need inspiration and courage to change their careers or a new perspective on the old one. I was hoping for one that gave more practical tips about how to stop the busywork, though, and this book does not deliver on that account, despite the subtitle.
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on August 6, 2013
I was shocked when I did the initial assessment in the book of how much bad work I was doing, and therefore not enough good and great work.

I have really enjoyed the read. Nothing like a kick in the pants when we need it!

I particularly valued the 15 exercises in the book which Michael calls "maps". I have found these very useful and have already made some adjustments to how I go about my life and work.

As a result of my adjustments I am going to do more great work. I hope you will read this book and Do More Great Work too.
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on May 6, 2010
I love this book. When I picked it up I was working 10-12 hours a day, 7 days a week starting a new business... and feeling like I could never get my head above water. "This just must be the life of an entrepreneur," I thought. Boy was I wrong. A friend recommended that I read DO MORE GREAT WORK and it has literally changed my life. In his deliciously empathetic and charming way Michael Bungay Stanier helped me see that my problem was a daily epidemic of "good work" that was keeping me from doing "great work." That clarity alone would have been worth reading the book for - but by taking the time to work through each of Michael's "map" (exercises) in the book I left with an actionable blueprint for how to shift my work habits to make sorely needed space for for great work. If you feel like your best self isn't seeing the light of day, DO MORE GREAT WORK is an absolute must read. I'm recommending it to others left and right.
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on March 7, 2011
Okay, soon the first quarter of 2011 will be gone -- making any progress so far? Do More Great Work puts resources into your hands - maps, ideas, concepts and quotations - right now. Action follows quickly too. If you're always struggling with an unmanageable to-do list, with commitments way out-of-hand, and a sneaking suspicion that you could and should be doing your Great Work instead of all of the rest, then this book is ready to help!
Sixteen greatly accessible maps bring me back again and again, for my own use and for others in my life who need a mental re-set. Every one of the maps has come in handy for me since I first started with the book.
My current favorite is Map 9: What's Possible? It's a sure-fire way to give yourself room to come up with some new ideas for approaching... well, whatever it is that you need to approach. The accompanying quotation is "If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want and all that is left is a compromise" from Robert Fritz.
Great first step for the procrastinator, the super-cautious, the lost, or for those of us who sometimes just fall for "the first right answer".
So, here's the questions:
What's the fun thing to do?
What the easiest thing to do?
What's the fastest thing to do?
What's the bravest thing to do?
What's the provocative thing to do?
And here's the answer: Get this book! Your Great Work awaits!
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As Michael Bungay Stanier explains, "This book is the sum of my work with thousands of people around the world as a coach and facilitator. It uses just fifteen key tools - conceptual maps to help you identify what really matters to you, what drives the choices and the actions you take, and how you can get onto a path to more creative, motivated, and inspired work that's good for you and for those you work for." Presumably some purpose-driven people can be happy, content, and fulfilled by obtaining great wealth, power, etc.

As I worked my way through Stanier's narrative, I was again reminded of Teresa Amabile's admonition, "Do what you love and love what you do." In her various writings, she also stresses the importance of having a purpose that includes but is not limited to achieving personal goals. For Dave and Ulrich, this means "the why of work." For Simon Sinek, it suggests the imperative to "start with why." Stanier joins the discussion when expressing the first of six "Great Work Paradoxes": You don't need to save the world but you do need to make a difference...a positive, productive, beneficial difference. More about the other paradoxes later.

Stanier invokes the journey as his central metaphor and presents his information, observations, insights, cautions, caveats, and recommendations within the framework of a journey that involves both sustained effort (e.g. reflection, completing separate but interrelated exercises, maintaining commitment and focus) and significant discovery (i.e. revelations of what really is -- and isn't -- most important). The ultimate objective is to Do More Great Work. This is not a destination because the journey of discovery should never end until one's life does.

The reader is asked to complete a series of exercises in a sequence of 15 Maps, each posing a question. The first, logically enough, asks "Where are you now?" because "you need to know your starting point" and the last asks "Lost your Great Work mojo?" if and when "you wander off the oath." The 15 Maps are organized within Seven Parts: Laying the Foundation, Seeds of Your Great Work, Uncovering Your Great Work, Pick a Project, Create New Possibilities, Your Great Work Plan, and finally, Continuing Your Great Work Journey. It is important to note that Stanier immediately establishes and then sustains a direct, personal rapport with his reader and throughout the "journey" serves several different functions: instructor, mentor, travel agent, bodyguard, cheerleader, and for some of the "pilgrims" who read this book, he also serves as a mirror that offers reflections that may be unpleasant to behold.

With regard to the map exercises, Stanier offers four tips: (1) make them yours, (2) find five minutes in your day to work on them, (3) use the maps in the order that makes the most sense to you, and (4) don't worry abut getting everything perfect. As for the "Six Great Work Paradoxes," the first asserts that "you don't need to save the world" but " you do need to make a difference," followed by Great Work Can Be Either Public or Private, Great Work Is Both Needed and Not Wanted, Great Work Is Both Easy Difficult, Great Work Is About Doing What's Meaningful But Not Always About Doing It Well, and finally, Great Work Can Take a Moment or It Can Take a Lifetime. Here's my take:

1. Start now.
2. Do the best you can.
3. Keep doing the best you can.
4. Expect surprises.
5. If you get knocked down, get back up.
6. Keep going.
7. Review 3-6.

This is a visually stimulating book, with the material well-organized and exercises clearly explained. That said, I should also suggest that it really will require a great deal of rigorous thinking and therefore I strongly recommend that key passages be highlighted and reviewed frequently. Actually, this is not a book; it's a WORKbook. Bon voyage!
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VINE VOICEon March 29, 2011
I think one of the hallmarks of the time we are living in is that we have been getting more efficient. Well, at least potentially so. A lot of us don't just want to live well, we want to live supremely well and in every significant area of our lives. We don't want to just accomplish a few things, we want to accomplish a lot, and not just things but great things. I know not every one is like this, but I'm talking about those who do want these things.

There are books available on improving your thinking, your memory, you diet, living longer. You can take classes, often even online classes, to become an expert in a great many things---marathon running, oil painting, professional cooking, novel writing.

I can hit on a lot of things I'd like to learn, improve at, or even start a business doing. But the minute I set some goals, a schedule, make a decision, I am hit with hurdles, often doubts and fear, obstacles within and without. But now I can turn to this fine book for timely and potent help with these and other issues that may arise.

If you're the type of person that would like to do great things in your life, "Do More Great Work" can help. It's a thought-provoking book, a workbook really, that can provide you with the tools to find out what you want to do and how to go about it.

Throughout the text are worksheets called "maps" that the reader can fill out to help her determine where she is at, what she wants to do, what creative possibilities are open to her, and then create a plan for getting where she wants to. There are 15 maps in the book, and more information at the author's website, "box of crayons."

This book is reader-friendly, fun to read, and filled with practical wisdom and humor. And, it's recommended by David Allen, which is plenty for me.

Highly recommended.
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on January 10, 2017
This book is excellent. It has many great ways to understand what motivates you, how to turn those motivations into actions. The exercises are fantastic , Easy to do, and practical. I'll be using these exercises for years to come.
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