Great Work Book Summary - Great Work Book explained in key points
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Great Work summary

David Sturt

How to Make a Difference People Love

4.2 (27 ratings)
14 mins

Brief summary

Great Work by David Sturt is a business book that explores how some people are able to consistently produce exceptional work. It offers tips and strategies for increasing our own productivity and creating meaningful contributions in the workplace.

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    Great Work
    Summary of 7 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 7

    Think about how the way you do your job can benefit others.

    Imagine that you’re recovering from surgery in a hospital. Which would you prefer: a janitor who noisily rushes through his cleaning routine in the ward, or one who recognizes your suffering, and works carefully and quietly?

    Clearly, the way this janitor does his job affects your well-being. In the same way, the way you do your job will always have a huge impact on others.

    Yet most of us work with our heads down, so immersed in checking off our daily to-do list that we miss all of the other factors in work life. The noisy janitor, for example, isn’t trying to be insensitive. He’s just preoccupied with getting all the rooms cleaned as quickly as possible.

    However, we can broaden our perspective by working with our head up. Job crafting can help us change our perception of work – from being something we just need to do, to a vehicle through which we can make a positive difference in people’s lives. In this example, it means the janitor changing his routine so he causes the least disturbance and noise.

    But crafting your job isn’t enough. You can also reframe in order to discover what benefits you can provide for others.

    Reframing is when you make a mental link between your job and a greater purpose: its value to society and its potential to make a difference.

    Reframing is about considering how your work affects others, and trying to see a larger purpose beyond the immediate goals of your job.

    A hospital janitor might see the potential to improve patients’ mood simply by talking to them and making subtle rearrangements in their rooms.

    You too can take your work beyond the to-do list by reframing your role.

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    Key ideas in Great Work

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    What is Great Work about?

    Whether you're an entrepreneur or a corporate employee, Great Work lays out the five primary skills you need  to make a difference that people will love. These blinks look at iconic innovations from recent history to offer clear examples of how you can create or improve upon your ideas so they have a positive impact on people’s lives.

    Great Work Review

    Great Work by David Sturt (2013) is a captivating exploration of what it takes to excel in our work and make a meaningful impact in the world. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It presents a wealth of inspiring stories from individuals who have achieved extraordinary results, giving readers a roadmap for their own success.
    • The book provides practical techniques and strategies that can be implemented immediately, helping readers unlock their full potential in their professional lives.
    • With its engaging and relatable narrative, the book manages to keep readers thoroughly entertained while still delivering valuable insights and guidance.

    Best quote from Great Work

    Good is the foundation of great.

    —David Sturt
    example alt text

    Who should read Great Work?

    • Anyone who is tired of doing work that’s just “good enough”
    • Anyone who wants to make a difference in the world
    • Anyone who has a great idea that they want to put into practice

    About the Author

    David Sturt is the executive vice-president of consultancy O. C. Tanner, as well as an advisor for numerous Fortune 1000 leaders. He speaks to audiences worldwide on engaging employees, inspiring contributions and rewarding outstanding results.

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    Great Work FAQs 

    What is the main message of Great Work?

    Achieve excellence in your work by focusing on what truly matters and making a significant impact.

    How long does it take to read Great Work?

    The reading time for Great Work varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Great Work a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Great Work is worth reading because it provides practical insights and strategies for maximizing your impact in the workplace.

    Who is the author of Great Work?

    The author of Great Work is David Sturt.

    What to read after Great Work?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Great Work, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • First, Break all the Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
    • The Next Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley & Sarah Stanley Fallaw