Pursue What Matters
Episode 29: Great at Work Book Review
Please excuse any typos, transcripts are generated by an automated service
Dr. Melissa Smith 0:00
You’ve heard the term work smarter, not harder. But is there any truth to it? while you’ve got to join me today for the podcast, because I am going to unpack the research that proves working smarter is so much smarter than working harder. It’s really fascinating research. So let’s jump in.
Dr. Melissa Smith 0:22
Hi, I’m Dr. Melissa Smith, welcome to the Pursue What Matters Podcast, where we focus on what it takes to thrive in love and work. For so long we’ve been told you’ve just got to work harder to get ahead. And for many of us, especially if you’re an American, we’ve taken a great amount of pride in the American work ethic. But could it be true that our work harder gameplan is actually undermining us? Well, you know, many of us are starting to slowly figure out that the answer to this to this question is yes, actually, it is undermining us. And now there is some really great groundbreaking research that not only shows us why working harder is not the answer. And how working smarter is indeed the answer to being great at work. And that this is the really great news. It’s not as hard as you think. Because this is the other mistake. Many of us hardworking, high achieving slog it out at all costs, types think we think work needs to be punishing, and painful in order to be effective. But the research and the results are clear, we’ve been taught wrong. So let’s get our facts straight, so we can move forward to being great work. And that’s exactly what we’re going to be focusing on today. So let’s get our facts straight, so we can move forward to being great at work. And you know, with this podcast, I’ve got a really great freebie. So make sure you stay tuned, and listen to the podcast, and then check out the show notes because I’ve got a link to a really great freebie, which I think will help you to improve your performance at work because we all want to be great at work. And this freebie will help you with that. So today I’m reviewing the excellent book Great at Work, the Hidden Habits of Top Performers by Morton T. Hansen. And that’s Hanson with an E N. And of course, I always care about that, because that’s my maiden name, Hansen with an EN. When I first came across this book, it was at an airport bookstore, I had a lot of time to kill. And so I was perusing the bookstore and came across this book. And of course, the title caught my attention. But the sticker on the front cover is what really pulled me in. So the sticker reads, a five year groundbreaking study. And this was a quote from none other than Jim Collins, who if you’re familiar with leadership research and readings, you will recognize that Jim Collins is a great writer on business management. So Jim Collins writes extensively on what makes organizations great and is the author of the seminal books Good to Great and built to last. And of course, he’s written several other great books as well. So this stickers definitely did its work well, because I ended up buying the book, it caught my attention. I bought the book, and I couldn’t put the book down. So I’ve mentioned before, right that I’m a total geek about research, just full disclosure, of course. So it was funny that as I purchased the book, the clerk and I were visiting. And he asked me if I was great at work. And I said, You know, I try to be. And then I said that I’m a leadership coach. And so my job is to help leaders be great at work. And so we had this nice little visit, about what that entails and what it you know, what it really takes to be great work. But you know, as I walked out of the store, past shelves and shelves of business leadership books, because, you know, if you think about airport, airport bookstores, it’s a lot of business travelers, and so there’s a lot of business leadership books, at airport bookstores, I was really struck by the variety of advice out there for leaders. And you know, what is a leader to do in order to be great at work, because there’s a lot of advice. And quite frankly, a lot of that advice sucks, but it’s just not very helpful.
Dr. Melissa Smith 4:35
So this is what I love about what the author Dr. Hansen has done with his research and with his distillation of the research in this book. So he’s actually taken the time to figure out what it takes to be great at work rather than just winging it, which is what so many of the books on the bookshelf have done and we should not be winging it at work. It takes up so much of our time. And it’s a huge chunk of our lives. And you know, I’ve talked a lot about this already on the podcast. It’s, it’s one of, I guess, you know, one of my soap boxes. But work composes a huge part of our identity and our sense of self. And that to leave our performance, to happenstance, or to misguided advice from a self help Guru is really, really unwise. And so of course, we should go to the science and we should follow the research I’m going to get, I’m gonna get shirts made up with that, go to the science follow the research. And so that’s exactly what we’re doing here with this excellent book. And so let’s learn a little bit more about the author before we jump into the meat of the book. So Martin Hansen is a management professor at UC Berkeley, formerly at Harvard Business School, and I believe he was at Harvard when this research was conducted. So he’s the co author of The New York Times bestseller great by choice with none other than Jim Collins. And he’s also the author of the highly acclaimed book collaboration. He earned his PhD from Stanford Business School where he was a Fulbright Scholar, and he’s originally from Norway. And if you decide to read the book, you’ll learn this little fun fact that in his younger years, he was a very competitive track athlete, which you know, is pretty cool. So this guy is no slouch, right? He was a Fulbright Scholar, great athlete and did his PhD at Stanford and has had a very successful career himself. So let’s take a look at some of the commentary about the book. So first of all, from Jim Collins, he said, “rigorous and relevant research driven and well written empirical and empowering, timeless and practical, full of big concepts and useful tips. Hanson’s work is truly distinctive in the genre of professional effectiveness, and a tremendous contribution. This is a book I will read more than once and reference forever.” And from Carol Dweck of Mindset fame, right. So we love mindset. She said, “a landmark contribution to the understanding of the roots of professional success.” So she’s also a fan of Hansen’s work. And then finally from Chip Heath, who’s the co author of Switch, and the Power of Moments, he said, “the data and Hansen’s analysis will surprise you, change you and make you better at work. No leaps of faith required.”
Dr. Melissa Smith 7:37
Okay, so those are endorsements, from, you know, three of my favorite leadership thinkers and authors. And of course, there are lots of other endorsements from from some great thinkers and authors out there. So this book came out in 2018. So it has not been out very long. And, you know, I would say that I’m very well read in the leadership literature. And I just happened upon this book, I hadn’t heard about it before, kind of like Stumbling on it at the airport bookstore. And it’s really, really good. So I’m kind of surprised that it’s not better known. And I think that that’s really unfortunate, because the research is really solid. And the findings are so pertinent to all of us enhancing gives us so many really practical applications, that this book should be on your bookshelf, if you have any desire to improve your performance at work. But actually, what I have found in reading the book is that it’s got a lot of application outside of work as well. So, you know, if you’re listening, and you don’t believe you fit into a clean category of tradition of a traditional work setting, definitely keep listening, because I promise, this book has broad application. And one of the things that I really most appreciate about the book is that it’s very applicable. Like he gives very practical tips. And at the end of each chapter, he kind of summarizes so you could reference back to the book if you need a refresher on any of the concepts. So in that way, I think it’s very user friendly.
Dr. Melissa Smith 9:17
Okay, so let’s jump into the meat of this great book. And, of course, we will not cover all of the findings, but I do want to go over some of the key findings that I think can be most helpful for you today. So Hansen starts out the book with a premise that so many of us have heard, and that is the idea of working smarter versus working harder. And he shared an example from his own early career where he was working really hard to get ahead, and it was not working out well for him. You know, he was putting in long hours slogging it out. And one day he saw the work product of a colleague of his and you know, this work product was stellar. And it really left him scratching his head. And so he started getting curious about what this colleague was doing differently from him. And, you know, he looked around and first of all, she was nowhere to be found. And so we started asking around, and his colleagues said, Oh, no, she never works late. And she never works weekends. And what he learned was that she was working smarter, not harder. So of course, over time, this colleague, from his early career, became the inspiration for his research. And I’m not going to go into a lot of the details of the research, but just know that the findings we’re discussing are based on very extensive research. And the results are really impressive, like super, super, super impressive. Okay, so that’s, that’s like a stats geek talking right there. Of course, the book details the research and includes a huge appendix with all of these details. But for our purposes here, Hanson conducted an analysis of 5000 people where he investigated the question of what explains individual performance. So that was really the question that he was looking at. And so as a result of the analysis, Hanson and his team identified seven work smart practices that explain differences in performance at work.
Dr. Melissa Smith 11:27
Okay, so seven practices that really helped distinguish between good performance and great performance. And this was across industries, across education level leadership roles, so it didn’t matter what gender you were, it didn’t matter, it didn’t matter what kind of background you were from didn’t matter. It didn’t matter, race didn’t matter, education level. This, these set, seven work, smart practices, really made the difference. And so if you think about all of those results in a pie chart, so just imagine a pie chart, then the results fall out, as follows. So Hanson’s seven work smart practices explained 66% of the variation in performance among the sample of 5000 participants. Okay, so for those of you non stats geeks out there, this is a really remarkable number. And it’s actually a number that’s pretty unheard of, when it comes to social science metrics. So these seven, work smart practices accounted for 66% of the variation in performance, which is huge. In contrast, other factors, including educational background company tenure, so how long they were at the company, age, gender hours worked, all of those factors combined, to account for only 10% of the differences in performance. And that’s a really important thing to pay attention to, because, because if we think about the work harder mentality, right, like one of the beliefs is, if I just put in more hours, then I will have higher performance. And basically, what they’re saying is, even if you had the most education, and you were the smartest person in the room, and you work the most hours, that would still only account for up to 10% of your performance. So it would still only account for a very small percentage of your performance. And so then the rest of the 20% of the difference was unexplained and possibly included factors such as luck, or talent. So those were kind of unexplained differences. Okay, so 66% were attributable to the seven work smart practices. And so I just want you to think about these results as as a pie chart, right? For a minute, you have a factor that accounts for 66% of the variation in performance. You know, if you spend your time and energy focused on honing that factor, then you can make huge leaps in your performance. And so if you just think about that, you would be crazy not to focus on that factor, right? You would be crazy not to focus your time and energy on those seven practices. So I’m using the term factor here, and I’m using that as a statistical terminology, but that factor that accounts for 66% of the variation in performance are the seven work smart practices. So let’s understand what those practices are because your ability to understand those practices and effectively hone them can literally take you from mediocre performance to top tier performance. But let’s, let’s do what works. And let’s do what is supported from the research. And the seven works smart practices have about the strongest support that you will find in the social sciences. Right? So it’s, it’s really incredible findings.
Dr. Melissa Smith 15:22
Okay, so let’s, let’s jump into what these practices are. So these seven work smart practices not only improve performance, and that’s of course key, right, because we want to be great at work. But this is the other thing that Hansen found. And I think this is super cool. But these seven work smart practices, in addition to improving performance, they also improve well being, okay, so you can be great at work, and have greater wellbeing in your life. So they also contribute to more balance. So these practices will also result in more life balance, which for a lot of us, that can feel really elusive. Because it can feel like, Okay, if I am going to be better at work, then it’s going to undermine life balance at home. But what he found is actually, that’s not, it’s not the case, if you focus on these work smart practices, then your overall well being and life balance also improves. That’s huge. I mean, to to actually, that’s kind of that’s the that’s the magic, right, that’s the magic bullet right there. And that’s, that is exactly what he found. So the work harder paradigm is to put in more time and lose balance in your life, and inevitably undermine well being. But the results from Hansen study show that as you implement these practices, you can enjoy. So three factors that contribute to well being so better work life balance, higher job satisfaction, and less burnout. So all of those three factors contribute to increase well being. So in a nutshell, being great at work means performing in your job, infusing your work with passion, and a strong sense of purpose. And of course, living well, too. So. So this is huge. These are really great findings, okay, so the way that he breaks these practices down, there are four practices for mastering your own work. And then there are three practices that are focused on working with others. Okay, so the first four are mastering your own work. And then the last three are about working well with others because right we need, we need both. Okay, I want to talk about the first practice, and this is a really big one, and it might sound a little counterintuitive.
Dr. Melissa Smith 18:08
Practice one is do less than obsess. And that might sound kind of crazy coming from a psychologist to say obsess, but this is this is actually really important. And he talks about the example of Amundson, and Scott. And so this was, this is such a fascinating case study. And I actually first came across this case study during my MBA program, and I think actually, Hansen might have written the original Harvard Business Review case study on this, but I remember when I read the case, I was so fascinated by it. And in one of my, in one of my e courses on leadership, I actually kind of do a deep dive into this case study. And then in this book, great at work, Hanson talks even more about Anson and Scott. So this was the race to the South Pole. And so Amundson was in Norwegian, and captain and Scott was a British captain. And they were both pretty experienced captains. And they were both racing to the South Pole. This was in I want to say, I think it was 1915- 1916 because it was it transverse two years. And they were in competition to see who could reach the South Pole first, and it was a big deal, right? Because were they going to claim it for Norway, or were they going to claim it for Great Britain? And of course, the the Brits had a strong history of Expedition there, right. And so they had quite a bit of pride there. And he so so Hansen uses He uses the the examples of Amundson and Scott to really make this point about doing less, but then obsessing. And I’m not going to go into all the details about it. But we could spend a day just talking about it. It is such a fascinating case study. And the point really is this. I mean, there are lots and lots of layers of this. And I get super geeky when it comes to this. So I’m going to try and restrain myself. But I’m just going to talk about one small example of how this shows up. So Amundson had a much smaller team. His budget was, I think, at least less than half of Scott’s he had one mode of transportation, which was dogs. Scott, on the other hand, right, he had a much larger team. He had several goals of the expedition. So there were some research goals. Of course, there was the goal to reach the South Pole first. And so he had scientists with him, he had photographers with him, he had all sorts of extra people with him, he had five modes of transportation. So he had man pulling, he had dogs, he had ponies, he had all sorts of modes of transportation. And so on the one hand, you might think, okay, Scott, Scott had a more comprehensive team, you know, he had better funding, and Scott’s going to be successful. But what happened? Was, Amundson was the first to the South Pole. And not only that, Scott’s team, they made it to the South Pole, but they never made it home. And there were many reasons for that. But his crew died. So, you know, spoiler alert, that’s what happened.
Dr. Melissa Smith 22:04
But there are many examples of how Amundson did less, but then obsessed. So one small example with his mode of transportation. So he chose dogs. And then he not only just chose one mode of transportation, but then he obsessed about that. So he spent, I think, nine months or maybe even a year, living with Inuits, who, you know, they, that’s, that’s their land, that’s where they live. And he, he lived with them, and followed them and learned what are the best dogs for these conditions. And so he didn’t settle for the Huskies, which, you know, if you’re not really familiar with, with the conditions, you would think, okay, a husky should be just fine. But the Inuits had a different breed of dog that they set up, these dogs are much better. And so Amundson did deep research to understand which dog would be the best dog to take. And so he, also spent tons and tons of hours, mapping out his drop points and mapping out how he how he would take his route. He spent, you know, he had his guys at a base camp, and he had them very regimented, where they were all contributing, and they were exercising daily, they all had to do presentations, and so Amundson was very focused, he only had one goal, and that was to be the first to the South Pole. And there was there was nothing else that mattered. And so, you know, one small example is that, I think with Amundson, they only had I think they, I think they had like maybe two or three pictures taken photos taken before they got to the South Pole, because he was a man on a mission. And, in contrast, Scott, they had the 1000s and 1000s and 1000s 1000s of photos taken, because Amundson was like we’re not on a photo expedition are not stopping to gather weather research, we are getting to the South Pole, and so he did less, but then he obsessed about that. And after the fact, it was easy for people to say, Scott was a victim of bad luck and Amundson benefited from good luck, but they had the exact same weather conditions, they were traveling the exact same time the exact same terrain, and so Amundson, actually there was a great quote from Amundson, he said, good luck is a function of good planning. And it’s not luck at all, actually, it’s just good planning.
Dr. Melissa Smith 24:56
And so, practice: one do less, then obsess And so some more details about this, do less obsess and perform. And so, right you want to be goal driven. And that is that is important. So the term focus consists of two activities. So you want to choose a few priorities, and then dedicate your efforts toward excelling at them. So many people prioritize a few items at work, but they don’t obsess, they simply do less. And, you know, there’s plenty of us that are guilty of that. And Hansen found that that’s a really big mistake. And so you really want to hone your efforts. And then you really need to focus and keep your intensity up to the finish line. And so you really need to make sure you do have a goal, right, or you do have a finish line so that you can keep that intensity up, so that there is a finish line. So there’s also another thing that happens with practice. One is the complexity trap, so that we’re often hurt by complexity. And so his recommendation is to do whatever you can to simplify things. And that we often make the mistake and thinking that complex is better. And this is absolutely not true. So simplify everything you can. And, you know, the research is really clear that task switching, and multitasking, right, which is not a thing, we can’t multitask, it really undermines focus and attention and makes you much less effective. And so doing everything you can to eliminate the distractions, really resist task switching, which is, you know, like moving from email to phone calls to, you know, writing that sort of thing and really focus your attention on Okay, what am I doing at this point and blocking out time, chunking your time, so that you can really focus in on a specific task, and give it the intensity that it needs, and then close it out and move on to the next task, it will make you much more effective. And then he says that we often disparage obsession in our daily lives, viewing obsessions as dangerous or debilitating. But his argument is obsession can be a productive force. And I would just say, Yeah, like, I echo that. And the key is you got to keep it on the right side of the line. And I’ve definitely talked about that before.
Dr. Melissa Smith 27:41
But I just think about my own experience with that, like, I do not have hobbies, you know, my husband and I have teased about that over the years. Like he’s the epitome of the hobby guy, like he has lots and lots of hobbies. And we were talking about that not too long ago. And I’m like, you have so many hobbies, like what’s up with that. And I’m like, I don’t think I have any hobbies. Like you do not have hobbies at all. He’s like, you have passions, like you have 1 to 3 passions/obsessions. And it’s like, yep, that’s about that’s about right. And what I have found for myself is that I have to keep those passions slash obsessions on the right side of the line, so that they don’t take over because I recognize that they can’t, they can absolutely take over. But when kept in proper perspective, they can be incredibly empowering, because I am passionate about them. And, you know, I feel drawn to them. Whether it’s around, like this desire for mastery, you know, whether it’s like with powerlifting, or learning something new, or just the challenge, right, the challenge of something that, you know, like, I don’t know how to do and so I’d like to learn that. And so when it comes to obsessions, slash passions, we really do need to keep them in proper perspective. But they can be a productive force in our life, and they, they aren’t necessarily a bad thing. So we, you know, let’s not be scared of those necessarily.
Dr. Melissa Smith 29:16
Okay, so he does say there are a couple of times when you should not focus. And you know, one of those would be like when you’re brainstorming when you’re trying to generate new ideas, maybe when you’re working on a creative endeavor, and you know, you’re, you know, your options, but you’re uncertain what to choose. So, there are times where you don’t necessarily want to narrow your focus, but otherwise you do want to you you do want to prioritize and narrow your focus.
Dr. Melissa Smith 29:45
Okay. So now let’s talk about practice two and this is redesign your work. So evaluate the value of your work by measuring how much others benefit from it. And this is I really like this because It’s really a shift. The typical view is an inside out view, which measures work according to whether we have completed our tasks and goals, regardless of whether they produce any benefits. So an example of that would be, did you get your quarterly report done? Well, yes, I checked it off the list. Does anyone read that report? does it add value anywhere? And the answer might be no, to both of those questions, right. And so with a, with a redesign of work, where you evaluate your work by measuring how much others benefit from it, you take an outside in view, because it really directs attention to the benefits our work brings to others. And so it’s, it’s a bit of a paradigm shift. And we just want you to start asking this question of what value does this work bring? And I think it’s actually just a really good check in question for you around different work activities. Because what happens is, it’s really easy to get stuck in a rut where we go to the same meetings, and we do the same tasks. And if we’re not careful, and like we have we check the same metrics, and if we’re not careful, we just go through the same motions, without ever really stopping to question why. And to question like, what is the value here. And so we really want to think in terms of adding values instead of just simply reaching goals. So start with value, and then proceed to goals.
Dr. Melissa Smith 31:40
Okay, so goals are still important. But you’ve got to start with value first. So ask yourself, What benefits do your various work activities produce? Like really, and if you if you can’t provide a good clear rationale for each of your work activities, then maybe those activities should go. And this would probably be a really good exercise for you to do might be kind of painful, might be kind of tedious. But make a list of each of your work activities. And for each activity, you have to draw an arrow to say, what is the value of this? Who does this benefit? Right? Like, what is the specific benefit of this task or of this action? And if you don’t have a clear rationale, or a clear benefit, then you really have to have to question seriously, whether you should continue with that activity. And in fact, here I’ve got a really great freebie for you where I’m going to help you out with that, where I’ve got a nice resource to help you. So you can actually go through this exercise and ask yourself these questions. So stay tuned at the end of the show, with the show notes, because I’m going to have a great link for you. So you can download this freebie and go through that exercise. And I promise you it will, it will be really helpful for you.
Dr. Melissa Smith 33:13
Okay, so this is especially important when it comes to meetings and metrics and really goes back to the complexity issue. Because just because you can measure something doesn’t mean you should, just because you can measure something doesn’t mean that it adds value. And so for this would also be a really useful exercise for each of your metrics. So what are the metrics that you measure? And what is the value of that metric? How does it add value? And if you don’t have a clear rationale for that, then maybe you pull it, right? And I think the truth is, right, we have a lot of metrics that maybe we have to measure for corporate, you know, or for higher ups. And if you don’t understand why you are gathering a metric, why you are measuring a metric, that would be really good conversation to have with your manager, because someone should be able to give you an answer for that. And you might still need to gather it. But it would be it would be important to understand why you’re gathering that and if nothing else, you can be on board with that a little bit more and less cynical or less resentful of, you know, needing to gather that metric or, you know, doing that report each month or each quarter. So, watch for the freebie and we’ll have the link so you can download that and go through that process.
Dr. Melissa Smith 34:47
Okay, so this like I said, this can be kind of painful, but take the time and do some review and editing of processes in order to determine what may need to be redesigned. So that you are on prioritizing value. And, you know, it, like I said, like, it can take some time, and it can be a little bit painful. But honestly, it’ll make you so much more efficient and effective in your work. And so, you know, doing these quarterly redesigns, and not that you do a total redesign every quarter, but doing some trimming and doing some review, at the end of each quarter, and really looking at, okay, how am I doing, and you know, what is working. And I think this is particularly important, if you are running a team, if you are a small business owner, or an entrepreneur, where you are in charge of creating processes, or you are the decision maker, when it comes to determining what metrics to measure because it does not take much to create a bloated system of metrics and processes that really don’t have a tie to value or benefit. And so you really have to discipline yourself to simplify and to to keep a tight rein on what adds value. And I think having a tight connecting link to that. And then, you know, keeping you’re keeping your hand on that poles with some of these activities that help you to just review that. And redesign as needed, is, you know, some some actually, like really important gardening work that can help you to keep keep that performance up, and keep those inefficiencies and ineffective practices out out of out of your workplace.
Dr. Melissa Smith 36:51
Okay, so as part of the work redesign, you want to hunt for pain points. And so these will definitely give you your best direction for work redesign. And so there’s a quick example that he used in the, in the book where, you know, the patient satisfaction, surveys of a hospital were abysmal. And so the CEO was like, what is going on. And what they found is that the hospital lab was waking up patients in the middle of the night to get their blood draws so that the labs would be ready for the physicians, you know, at 7am, when they started rounding on patients well, so you know, as you can see, that would be really inconvenient. And so patients didn’t like that. And so they were scoring the hospital very low on, you know, that the hospital was comfortable and met my needs. And so the CEO saw this. And so what he what he said, and the way that he redesigned this work, I think it was brilliant, and simple, actually, he said he told the hospital lab that he told them to call him in the middle of the night, if they had to wake anyone up. And so before they went in to draw blood on any patient in the middle of the night, they had to call the CEO of the hospital first. And what do you think happened? No one ever called him, and no one ever got another blood draw in the middle of the night. And so that behavior that was very ineffective, and was killing their patient satisfaction ended almost immediately. And you know, the lab was still able to get blood draws conveniently, the physicians were still able to get their report, but patients were not being disrupted in the middle of the night. And so that’s a that’s a brilliant way and a creative way that the CEO took care of that problem.
Dr. Melissa Smith 39:14
So ask stupid questions. So be willing to challenge convention and ask stupid questions. And then ask what if questions, so what if we tried this? What if we did it this way? Give yourself and your team permission to explore new options. And I think this is actually really important. We get stuck in our boxes, we’ll get stuck in ways of doing things. And you know, really giving everyone permission to think outside of the box. And to think you know, what if and that’s that’s where innovation is born, and really redesigned and and you know, getting getting to more value and more efficient and effective ways of doing things.
Dr. Melissa Smith 39:57
Okay, so practice three don’t just learn, but loop. So I’m not going to discuss this. But he talks about four basic steps in a learning loop. So first you do, then you measure, then you receive feedback, and then you modify and then you redo right. And so you that that’s kind of the the path for learning. And so it’s a loop. And so we, you know, we really want to incorporate the importance of feedback, and that it needs to be really specific. And, you know, he really focuses on small ways that we can incorporate that and it doesn’t have to be feedback doesn’t have to be a big thing, it definitely should not be reserved for performance reviews, he talks about carving out 15 minutes a day for feedback, and he gives some really good counsel on how to learn and engage in this learning loop.
Dr. Melissa Smith 40:57
Okay, so then practice four is p squared, which is passion and purpose. And what he found with the research is that you need both to be effective, and they are not the same. So passion is to do what you love. And passion asks, What can the world give me? While purpose is to do what contributes and purpose asks, What can I give the world? And I really like that distinction between those. So the magic of p squared, is that it provides people with more energy that they can channel into their work. So definitely not more hours as in the work harder paradigm, but more energy per hour of work. And so of course, that is working smarter. And so he talks about matching passion and purpose. And so when people are able to achieve P squared, they bring more focus and energy into their job, and they perform better. And I think, you know, we can all kind of think about that, if you’re passionate about your work, and you have a sense of purpose, that and that is the magic right there. And what he also found with this research is that nearly everyone can match. And sometimes that may require hunting for a new role and growing your circle of passion. And so sometimes you need to be creative. Sometimes you need to think about how you can create new roles for yourself or work with leaders, that passionate work is an expanding circle that encompasses, you know, several different areas. And so he talks in more detail about that. But I won’t go into much detail about that.
Dr. Melissa Smith 42:47
But but one of the points that he makes is that, you know, we kind of think about it in terms of a purpose pyramid, and that as we climb that purpose pyramid, we gain a stronger sense of purpose, and that the base is creating value and doing no harm. And then that second layer, that second level, is crafting personal meaning. And then that that top layer, that top level of the purpose pyramid, is seeking social mission. And so we really think about purpose as contributing. And so adding value, having a person having personal meaning, and then really contributing and looking outside of yourself. And that’s what we really want to strive for when it comes to performance at work. And so it’s personally meaningful to you. But it’s not about you. And I think that’s kind of the magic of purpose driven leadership and purpose driven work.
Dr. Melissa Smith 43:54
So the three practices for mastering work with other people, I’m just going to name these, but we’re not going to discuss them in any detail, because you know, we’d be here all day, but practice five is forceful champions, practice six is fight and unite. And practice seven is the two sins of collaboration. And that’s actually a really fun one, because he talks about that there are costs and benefits of collaboration that we don’t want to over collaborate or under collaborate. And so he talks about disciplined collaboration, and he gives some really nice guidance on how to collaborate effectively. And so who knows, maybe I’ll tackle that issue in an upcoming podcast because it’s really good. And I think that that can be a really big issue in a lot of companies, right? Like, no one wants to be siloed that that seems to be a really big sin in companies these days. And, you know, I think there’s some good reasons that we don’t want to be siloed but sometimes we put so much value on collaboration, that we haven’t taken a step back to look at the fact that, you know, there are some costs of collaboration. And it’s not always beneficial. And it’s not always productive. And it doesn’t always improve our performance. And so we want to be really wise about how we collaborate. And so he gives some really great direction, on discipline collaboration so that it indeed does improve performance of all involved, rather than, you know, making you crazy and, you know, making you want to hate your colleagues, because that’s not fun. That’s not something that you want.
Dr. Melissa Smith 45:38
Make sure you head on over to my website to check out the show notes with all the great resources for this episode at www.drmelissasmith.com/episode-29 one more time, that’s www.drmelissasmith.com/episode-29. This is such a great book, I really wish that people knew about it more, hopefully, we’ll get some momentum going with this book because it’s so great. Such a such a well researched book. So check it out. It’s great. I also have an excellent freebie on this book. So it’s just a nice little summary of the book. So it kind of gives you the high points of the findings. And so make sure you check that out as well. Also, if you take a minute and give me a review on iTunes, that is always great because it helps people find me. You can find the podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or on my website. Thanks so much for your support. Again, it’s www.drmelissasmith.com/episode-29. I’m Dr. Melissa Smith. Remember love and work, work and love. That’s all there is. Until next time, take good care.
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