Stretch Book Summary - Stretch Book explained in key points
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Stretch summary

Karie Willyerd and Barbara Mistick

How to Future-Proof Yourself for Tomorrow’s Workplace

3.8 (79 ratings)
13 mins

Brief summary

'Stretch' by Karie Willyerd and Barbara Mistick is a guide to help individuals thrive in their careers by exiting their comfort zones. It presents various tools and techniques to achieve success and realize one's full potential.

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    To keep stretching your work possibilities, maintain control, keep your options open and set goals.

    Before entering the professional world, you are surrounded by parents and teachers who can point you in the right direction and straighten you out if you get off track. But after college, you’re more or less on your own, even though there’s still a great deal of growing, or stretching, that needs to be done.

    That’s why there are three stretch imperatives that every professional hoping to stay at the top of the game should keep in mind.

    The first stretch imperative is to remember that you are in control.

    If you’re unhappy with a job, it can be easy to blame your boss or be too lazy to do anything about it. But this isn’t good for you or your employer.

    Let’s look at a typical career: You graduate from college and decide to pick up a job in construction because you thought you might enjoy working with your hands. But after a while you realize that you’d rather work with people. What do you do?

    You take control and find another job, this time as a camp counselor. But here you realize you’d rather work with adults instead of kids, so you decide to work in sales instead.

    And this leads us to the second stretch imperative: Give yourself options and broaden your horizons so that you have a healthy amount of possible opportunities.

    Let’s say you hate your boss in the sales department but you don’t have the qualifications for anything else. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, you take action. You sign up for adult education classes and earn a second or third degree, such as an MBA.

    And this brings us to the third stretch imperative: Setting goals.

    These don’t have to be related to your career; they just need to be realistic goals that will help you stay on track, especially during tough times.

    Everyone hits a rough patch at one point or another in their career. When you hit one, remember that gaining experiences is always productive and will help you in the search for what’s right for you.

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    What is Stretch about?

    Stretch (2015) is about the art of growing your career in ways that will make you an in-demand force in an increasingly unpredictable economy. There’s very little you can take for granted in these chaotic times, but there are reliable methods you can use today to help ensure work for you tomorrow. No one wants to be left behind. Be proactive and make yourself indispensable no matter what the future has in store.

    Stretch Review

    Stretch (2016) by Karie Willyerd and Barbara Mistick is a book that challenges conventional ideas about career success and offers practical strategies for navigating the modern work landscape. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Drawing on extensive research and real-life stories, it provides readers with a fresh perspective on how to succeed in a rapidly changing world.
    • The book offers actionable advice and exercises that empower individuals to stretch beyond their comfort zones and reach their full potential.
    • With its engaging writing style and relatable examples, it manages to make topics like continuous learning and personal growth genuinely interesting.

    Best quote from Stretch

    We believe you have the power to change from disengaged to engaged.

    —Karie Willyerd and Barbara Mistick
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    Who should read Stretch?

    • Anyone preparing for the future
    • Entrepreneurs who want to be more adaptable
    • Unemployed people hoping to find new purpose in their work

    About the Author

    Karie Willyerd, the workplace futurist for SuccessFactors, has been the chief learning officer for five different Fortune 500 companies. She is the coauthor of the bestseller, The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop & Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today.

    Barbara Mistick is an experienced entrepreneur with an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. She is currently the president of Wilson College and was previously the first female president of Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Library.


    © Karie Willyerd, Barbara Mistick: Stretch copyright 2016, John Wiley & Sons Inc. Used by permission of John Wiley & Sons Inc. and shall not be made available to any unauthorized third parties.

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    Stretch FAQs 

    What is the main message of Stretch?

    Stretch encourages us to embrace discomfort and learn new skills to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

    How long does it take to read Stretch?

    The reading time for Stretch varies, but the Blinkist summary can be read in about 15 minutes.

    Is Stretch a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Stretch is definitely worth reading! It offers valuable insights on how to adapt and grow in our ever-changing professional lives.

    Who is the author of Stretch?

    The authors of Stretch are Karie Willyerd and Barbara Mistick.

    What to read after Stretch?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Stretch, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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