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The Why of Work: How Great Leaders Build Abundant Organizations That Win Hardcover – Illustrated, May 31, 2010
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From the Publisher
Dave Ulrich's work passion has been how to build organization capabilities (systems, processes, cultures) that create value to multiple stakeholders, then to help leaders build intangible value in organizations. Working with over half of the Fortune 200 and with companies throughout the world, he provides seminars, writes books, and coaches leaders to build sustainable organizations by turning customer and investor expectations into personal and organizational actions. He helps leaders move beyond employee engagement to helping employees find real meaning from work. He is a professor of business at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan and co-founder of The RBL Group. He has written 15 books covering topics in HR and Leadership; is currently on the Board of Directors for Herman Miller; is a Fellow in the National Academy of Human Resources; and is on the Board of Trustees of Southern Virginia University.
Wendy Ulrich, Ph.D., has been a psychologist in private practice in Michigan for over twenty years. She is founder of Sixteen Stones Center for Growth in Utah, offering seminar-retreats on abundance. Their work with organizations and individuals intersects at helping people find meaning at work. Dave works to rethink and redefine how organizations work and Wendy works to help individuals rethink and redefine their own lives. At the same time, they are committed to the importance of the organization's responsibility to shareholders and investors as they respond to external conditions.
- Item Weight : 1.28 pounds
- Hardcover : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780071739351
- ISBN-13 : 978-0071739351
- Dimensions : 6.2 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
- Publisher : McGraw-Hill Education; 1st edition (May 31, 2010)
- ASIN : 0071739351
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #763,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The key highlight for me early in the book is when it is written that "When we find meaning in our work, we find meaning in Life". It was then that I realized that this was not just another book that will help me find better balance in my work but in my life. We do spend more time at work than anywhere else and to think that the two can be managed separately is crazy! This book brings the two together in a meaningful and thoughtful way.
Wrapped around 7 key questions makes the book an easy read and perfect road map to happier work and a more meaniful relationships in and out of work. My favorite question is "What Delights Me?". What a wonderful way to identify what we really value and what makes us happy.
I recommend it for reading by business leaders, future business leaders and anyone looking for a more meaningful and abundant life!
Well done Dave & Wendy and thank you.
However, many hard-nosed executives who most need to hear this message will be put off by the authors' idealistic and faith-based advice. It comes across as a too-good-to-be-true "heaven on earth", especially during these tough economic times. The authors' impassioned call for "abundance" in the workplace emphasizes the positive side of human nature, but discounts the negative side. Life contains too much psychological and emotional pain inflicted both intentionally and unintentionally to ignore. There's a grain of truth in the well-known saying about the people who play a significant role in our life: "you can't live with them, but you can't live without them". In terms of the workplace, the Dilbert cartoon series by Scott Adams makes this painfully, albeit humorously, clear.
As a professional consultant to leaders and their teams over the past 20+ years, I've often encountered a range of subtle and not-so-subtle negative human behaviors that undermine attempts to achieve abundance and often lead to the opposite. In those situations, I help leaders identify and act on realistic goals that move them and their organization toward abundance, knowing that its full achievement is not possible and that there will be a lot of back-sliding along the way. So the capacity for forgiveness and reconciliation are essential for over-coming the inevitable anger, frustration, ambivalence, and disappointment that all too often surface in the workplace. These capacities, when combined with the psychology of abundance, provide a balanced roadmap for an engaging workplace. That may be the most important take-away from Dave and Wendy Ulrich's inspiring call-to-action.
In summary, this is an excellent book and much needed in today's business landscape. It skillfully addresses the imperative of creating meanungful work in abundance-culture organizations offering practical tools for business leaders and Human Resources Managers. It is one of the first books I am aware of that makes this Corporate Social Responsibilty - Human Resources connection explicit. This is a welcome development and I have no doubt will create some ripples in HR circles. Dave and Wendy Ulrich cleverly move the agenda from employee engagement with primarily business focus around communication, remuneration and job content to a broader platform which encompasses the essence of the business beyond making money, and the aspirations of employees beyond earning a salary. One of the most basic components of CSR in business is providing a route to serve the aspirations and expectations of employees as stakeholders, so that they in turn may be the organization's CSR ambassadors when interfacing with other stakeholders. A bedrock of embedded CSR culture is essential to this. I am hopeful that The Why of Work will instill a sense of meaning in HR Managers and encourage them to adapt HR Practices accordingly. This really is a MUST-READ for HR professionals who need to WAKE UP to the wider and more strategic aspects of their roles.