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Do More Great Work: Stop the Busywork. Start the Work That Matters.

Do More Great Work: Stop the Busywork. Start the Work That Matters. - Michael Bungay Stanier Do more great work.Map 1. Where are you now?Map 2. What’ great?Map 3. What are you like at your best?Map 4. Who’s great?Map 5. Who’s calling you? Map 6. What’s broken?Map 7. What’s required?Map 8. What’s the best choice?Map 9. What’s possible?Map 10. What’s the right ending?Map 11. How courageous are you? Map 12. What will you do?Map 13. What supporters will you need?Map 14. What’s your next next step?Map 15. Lost your great work mojo? Ask others to tell you their great-work stories – your boss, your peers, your team, or your clients. This isn’t a question that people are often asked, but in the vast majority of cases, it’s one that they love to answer. You will hear interesting stories (guaranteed) and they will also give you unparalleled insight into what really matters to the person speaking. P. 39Great work wisdomMost people who are not doing great work blame it on their work circumstances. And that’s easy enough to do – there’s always someone or something you can point the finger at. Too much work, not enough work. The wrong people at the right time, the right people at the wrong time. Goals that are too difficult to attain, goals that are too easy. But great work is internal, and ultimately the choice to find it or not find it is yours. You do not need to get paid to do great work. No one can keep you from doing great work by giving you a stupid job. You can do great work because you are great. You can do it at home, you can do it at the office. Maybe you can do it in your head, when you go to the bathroom at work. Maybe you do it despite what your “job description” calls for. Ultimately , you are left with you. So really, doing great work is about knowing who you are and what you want. And here’s the crux of the matter: We can never know that for sure. You’ll never know everything about who you are, and you’ll never be able to completely describe what you want. But we can’t wait forever. So we have to guess and take the plunge. Stepping forward to do more great work is in fact about a leap of faith that we take because the alternatives are so disappointing. P. 41How to say no when you can’t say no. 1. Say, “Thanks very much for asking. Before I say yes, just let me make sure I understand what you’re asking for.” 2. Then ask some good questions. There are 3 basic types:• Why me? o May I ask why you’re asking me?o Have you asked anyone else?o Have you considered asking X? He’s got experience with this. • What’s the brief?o When you say “urgent,” what does that mean? When’s the latest it has to be done by?o How much time will this take?o If I could only do part of this, what part would you like me to do?o What does “finished” look like for this?• What’s the big picture?o Have you checked this out with my boss?o How does this fit with our 3 key priorities for this week/month/year?o What should I not do so I can do this? If you use this approach, any of four things might happen. 1. The person will answer all your questions and you will be happy to say yes. (This doesn’t happen very often.)2. The person will say, “Good questions! Let me get back to you when I’ve got some answers.” And they may or may not come back. Because instead…3. The person may just ask someone who says yes faster.4. Sometimes you’ll be asked to stop with the questions and just do it. Don’t start with the toughest, most senior person you work with. Instead choose someone with whom you think the approach might work, and a project that’s not too important. Practice the questions, and as you get more confident, use them in more situations with a wider range of people. Here’s the bonus: ask these questions more often, and you’ll start getting a reputation for being a strategic thinker. That makes you a more valuable player in your organization, which already has enough people who know how to say yes quickly. P. 90-91Beyond the map – If it comes down to 2 choices, and you can’t quite decide which one to put your money on, here’s a simple process to try: Toss a coin, assigning one option to heads and the other to tails. As the coin spins in the air, notice whether it’s heads or tails that you are hoping for. That’s the option that you want. After you’ve identified it, spend some time figuring out why it’s your first choice. P. 104Map 7: what’s required?1. You care and they car. A sweet spot. This is probably Good Work for you and your company, and may include some Great work, too. It might also hold seeds of more great work. Look at what’s listed and ask yourself, What would it take to turn some of these projects or responsibilities into Great Work?2. You don’t care and they don’t car. This work is pointless. Stop doing it. If you can’t stop doing it, figure out the minimal level at which this work can be done, and deliver it at this level. 3. You don’t care, but they care. This is work that has to be done – but not necessarily by you. Consider delegating it, either in whole or in part. Embrace adequacy. Embrace laziness. 4. You care, but they don’t care. In this box, you often find Good Work and Great Work. There are 3 strategies you can consider to keep it alive:a. Do it undercover. It’s better to apologize than explain.b. Relabel it. Find a different way to present the work, so the organization will recognize its value. c. Do it elsewhere. Accept that you’ll never find the time and space to do this work in your current role in this organization. So do it as outside work in your personal time. Or find a new role within the division or the company to which you could transfer and where you can do it. Or, most radical of all, find a new organization that want you to do this work. P. 85-86Map 9: what’s possible? Debriefing the map. • What was it like to decant the ideas you already had? Did you have more or fewer ideas than you thought?• Which were your favorite new questions? Which question produced the most new ideas?• Was this process difficult or easy for you? Did you notice the imp, the “internal critic”? What was it saying about your ability to have ideas? About the quality of ideas?• How easy was it to have ideas that were illegal, immoral, or impossible? Did you notice a pull to stick to what’s realistic? How did you manage that? Map 12: what will you do?Revisit Map 8. Decide what is non-negotiable. If I had to identify a single coaching question that was at the very hear t of doing more Great Work, it would be this: “What are you saying yes to? And by saying yes to this, what are you saying no to?”By making the full choice explicit – yes and no – you are forced to articulate the implications of your decision. This helps you break the illusion that we can keep saying yes to more and more requests and opportunities when our plates are already full to capacity. • It is absolutely non-negotiable. I must do this.• It feels non-negotiable, but perhaps, now that I think about it, that’s not true. • I can say no to this. It’s negotiable. P. 153StickK. Com, a wonderful accountability tool. You register your commitment and set yourself regular periods to check in and report your progress. If you reach your self-designated milestones, your money’s safe. If you don’t, it goes to a charity you’ve chosen.