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book review: turn your work up to 11

By Amanda Balbi
June 30, 2015
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stack of books

Great work is the work that matters most to you, has the biggest impact, and makes a difference. Do More Great Work by Michael Bungay Stanier is composed of 15 maps that guide you to do more great work and minimize your time doing bad or just good work.

 

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The first step is to identify where you are now. Map 1 helps you get a sense of the bad, good, and great work you’re currently doing and helps you realign your work to optimize your time. The perfect mix of good and great work will inspire you.

 

Then you can determine what great work means to you by recalling “peak” moments in your career that make you proud of your work. With the help of Maps 2-4, think about what you’re like at your best and worst moments so that you can have more peak moments.

 

Use Maps 5-7 to keep track of projects that require great work—what you like doing, why you aren’t doing it, and what’s required for you to do it. Then make a list of possible future great work projects. These are your opportunities for more great work.

 

One key piece of advice I took away from this book is to know when to say “no.” Know which projects will allow you to do great work and those that will slow you down. Map 8 will help you sort out the most productive projects you should be working on.

 

Maps 9-11 show you how to expand your opportunities and evaluate them before acting. Thinking about your great work projects, develop best, worst, and most realistic scenarios through storytelling. (Map 10 is an outline.) Who do you need on board to make the project work?

 

Without a good support system, you can’t complete great work. The key to building a great team is to incorporate people with skills, people who love you, and people with influence. Maps 12-14 help you finalize your decisions and take the next step.

 

This book is important for anyone who wants to optimize and organize their work. Its diagrams and other organizational aids help you along the way, and if you fall off track, Map 15 will remind you of your goals and help rid you of distractions.

 

Visit www.domoregreatwork.com for printable maps and more information.

Amanda Balbi is copy editor of Strategic Finance magazine. You can reach her at abalbi@imanet.org.
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