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

4.5 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews

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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 specializing 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. 


"Tony Schwartz has become a National Treasure, the champion of a new source of renewable energy--ourselves! The Way We're Working Isn't Working is a great combination of engaging intellectual foundations, intriguing research findings, and truly practical advice."

--Robert Kegan, Ph.D., Harvard University School of Education and co-author of Immunity to Change

The foundations of great leadership are self-awareness and thoughtful action, and the ideas in this book can be truly life-changing for both. The transformative power of this lies in its ability to help very smart and already high-performing people change their current behaviors to be even more effective, fulfilled and connected to others.

-Evan Wittenberg, Head of Global Leadership Development, Google, Inc.

“Now, more than ever, we need a unified science of energy--what makes us work (and what doesn't.) The Way We're Working Isn't Working 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

“The practices in The Way We're Working Isn't Working have truly changed my life and they've become guiding principles for all the members of my operating room team.”

--Mark Gillinov, M.D.,Cardiovascular Surgeon, Cleveland Clinic

“There's one compelling reason to read The Way We're Working Isn't Working—it works! The 100 senior leaders at the LAPD took the course on which the book is based, and while we were doubtful at first, we became believers and beneficiaries.”

--Bill Bratton, Former LAPD Police Chief

“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. The Way We Work Isn't Working 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 Hseih, CEO Zappos.com

The Way We're Working Isn't Working offers us 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 Emotional Intelligence

“Integrating our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual lives really enables “one life” and our life's work. Thank you Tony!”

--Alan Mulally, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ford Motor Company


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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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #374,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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: 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: 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
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