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The Seven-Day Weekend: Changing the Way Work Works

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  517 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
"Ricardo Semler thinks that companies ought to put employee freedom and satisfaction ahead of corporate goals. Imagine a company where employees set their own hours; where there are no offices, no job titles, no business plans; where employees get to endorse or veto any new venture; where kids are encouraged to run the halls; and where the CEO lets other people make nearly ...more
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Published May 3rd 2004 by Portfolio (first published 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jurgen Appelo
Feb 28, 2013 Jurgen Appelo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very inspiring as an ideal, with plenty of good stories, but not suitable as a how-to for next Monday morning.
Jerry
Jan 22, 2008 Jerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think Google works this way a lot, but Semler kind of came up with it on his own.

Most of the great ideas in here are about trust. Trusting your employees, your business partners and pretty much everyone else. And not writing down too much in terms of rules & regulations, long-term plans and other things that constrain your wiggle room as you turn plans into reality.

Semler didn't get any of this from his Dad, who founded the company and was of the opposite temperament: very structured, ve
...more
Lisa
Mar 21, 2008 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ricardo semler is a breath of fresh air when it comes to rethinking working. it's radically sensical, ethical and humane. hooray.
Robert Morrow
Jan 30, 2011 Robert Morrow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ricardo Semler is one (probably the only one, now that I think about it) of the most original thinkers in business today. This is a follow-up book to Maverick, the only five-star business book I've ever read. The Seven Day Weekend goes into a bit more detail about Semco's unique workplace culture, where workplace democracy is the norm. Employees set their own pay and hours, can avoid fixed jobs, follow both their business and personal instincts and vote on both their bosses and company decisions ...more
Adam Wiggins
The idea contained in the title of the book is a good one: now that work spills over into evenings and weekends thanks to smartphones, email, Slack, etc, might as well accept that but also let life spill into the workday.

As he puts it: go ahead and answer that email on Sunday evening, but don't hesitate to go to the movies with your spouse on Monday afternoon. Thumbs up for this idea.

Unfortunately the rest of the book appears to be a bunch of rambling cheerleading for Semco without much practica
...more
Elena Zhuravleva
This book changed the way my company works.
It forces me completely re-engineer the way of daily schedule, responsibilities and structure of the company.
Read it if you would like to investigate ways how to make a modern company in non-standard way.
Anand Unnithan
Challenging ideas

If you have read Maverick by the same author,there is nothing much new. However, Ricardo organises his thoughts better by providing a cogent philosophical framework in this book.
Deborah
Mar 13, 2015 Deborah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really dig this guy's philosophy, and methodology.

For Rogério Ottolia,
who left much too early
but will stay in Semco’s heart forever.

Any Day
Asky why?
Give up control
Change the way work works

The repetition, boredom and aggravation that too many people accept as an inherent part of working can be replaced with joy, inspiration and freedom.

Instead of dictating Semco’s identity, I let our employees shape it with their individual efforts, interests and initiatives.

The obsession with control is delu
...more
Jean-Philippe Michel
Successful Brazilian businessman Ricardo Semler has a different management philosophy: he believes we should treat employees like humans. Through his “radical” organizational democracy, he grew his company, Semco, by trusting his employees, letting them run themselves and encouraging dissent. Many of his beliefs are diametrically opposed to how most large organizations are currently run, disrupting the status quo of what we believe are the best practices in the world of work.

From another review
...more
Danny Hile
Jan 14, 2017 Danny Hile rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ricardo Semler has proven that work life balance is possible, for both the CEO and employees. Ricardo took over his father's company, when there was a strong traditional corporate culture. He worked hard to create a new culture and relax the rules for his employees. His critics expected productivity and associated success indicators to go down, however, he experienced the opposite. Ricardo's business began to thrive like never before under his new style of leadership. If someone tells you there' ...more
Sambasivan
Jan 26, 2017 Sambasivan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thisnis a real classic. Brethtakingly original ideas on how organisation can self manage itself through its employees. Democracy and dissent are the keywords that reverberate through the shining examples. A supremely successful organisation has been built in Brazil through Ricardo Semler who inherited the business from his father. A book that must be read in today's business environment.
Srakyi
Feb 02, 2017 Srakyi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: happiness
Excellent book about democracy at work. Many great real-life examples from Semco, many things to think about...
Rosa Frei
Feb 04, 2017 Rosa Frei rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business-money
Excellent book of a real visionary. A revolutionary approach of new leadership!
kareem
Aug 07, 2007 kareem rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
original review posted here:
http://www.reemer.com/archives/2004/0...

This is Semler's second book, and it reads a lot like a management strategy guide containing principles with anecdotes from Semco that illustrate those principles compared to Maverick, which read like a story of the highs and lows of the organizational experiments conducted at Semco.

Semler's main points thus far are:
1. Ask "why" several times when making a decision
Asking "why" ensures that you make a decision for the right reas
...more
Harmeet Singh
Dec 22, 2013 Harmeet Singh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ricardo Semler writes so well on the topic of how he runs(or rather, lets it run on its own) an organization in a purely democratic way. Everyone is encouraged to ask questions and not blindly believe their managers/colleagues/anyone. Most of the things the author writes about from his own experience, are already known to every organization, but rarely does anyone seem interested in practising them.
His claims sometimes seem to be an exaggeration of facts, but I guess there should be something r
...more
Abraham
Jan 02, 2013 Abraham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a pretty rambling, off the cuff account from one of the genuine innovators in business, on how his radical policies toward employees have created a better, more balanced, and, importantly, more successful business. Semco has really rewritten the book on what careers can look like in the 21st century - publishing salaries, budgets, meeting minutes and otherwise classified information at most companies to all employees, and even encouraging them to participate in the process of drafting th ...more
M. Fazid
Jan 16, 2009 M. Fazid rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sebenarnya saya baca versi terjemahannya yaitu "Revolusi Bisnis Abad ke 21 - Dengan jiwa merdeka meningkatkan profit dan produktivitas" di tulis oleh Ricardo Semler, CEO SemCo.

Buku ini berkisah tentang bagaimana SemCo, di bawah komando Ricardo Semler, menjadi perusahaan dengan rata2 tumbuh pertahun di atas 40%, dengan manajemen yang benar2 berbeda dengan perusahaan yang ada di Dunia.

Semco menerapkan banyak manajemen yang "nyleneh" untuk perusahaan yang bergerak di berbagai bidang bisnis, di anta
...more
Angie
An engaging read that gave me much to consider. I agree with Semler's point of view--to let people have a life, to give them freedom to choose their direction, and give them full information and control.

How freeing to rid yourself of what he calls 'boarding school issues.' I aspire to have a company that runs on the principles set out in this book. Sometimes, though, the way he claims things work at his companies seems impossible to pull off. I'd like to hear from employees to see if the stories
...more
Kevin
Dec 23, 2012 Kevin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very thought-proving and uplifting book. Initially you are bound to question why things are not being run like this the world over. Then perhaps when you look closer to home you'll see that elements of this democratic style of working are already a part of your workplace. How successful these are is dependent on so many factors.

It's hard to factor out the whole Brazilian aspect from Semco and see how it would work elsewhere (for example heavy unionisation initially drove much of their
...more
Cameron
Mar 30, 2008 Cameron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who think business is kind of stupid
Ricardo Semler...always an entertaining read. For those of you who think business is full of stupidity (but perhaps still worth saving), this book is for you.

The Seven-day Weekend is actually nothing like the incredibly obnoxious 4-hour Workweek and was published several years earlier. The theme of this book is how the blurring of our private lives and work lives has led to the seven-day workweek, and how this should be re-conceptualized as the seven-day weekend. This would be a job where we ac
...more
Mandy
Nov 04, 2010 Mandy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had to read this book for a class I'm taking. This book made me think a lot about the workplace and why bosses feel the need to exert such control over employees. It was written by the owner of a large company who has decided to actually step back and trust his employees. He describes the company philosophies and values and how he's let go of control and treats his employees like the working adults that they are. It was a very good philosophy in my opinion, but most bosses would not be able to ...more
Cari D
Jun 13, 2015 Cari D rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting, but not quite what I expected. There was actually very little "play-time" discussed. At this stage in my life, I find it difficult to decompress even on weekends when I am supposedly off work & I was looking for a little more on that. But Semler makes a lot of valid points here. Treating workers like responsible adults who know what they need to do to get their job done most effectively is key. Often I felt like he is stating what we workers seem to feel but may not questio ...more
Dan
Aug 17, 2015 Dan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The main thing to pull away from this book is trust.

Find the right people that you trust, and then give them the freedom and authority to do as they please.

Ricardo Semler allows the employees at SEMCO to determine their hours, holidays, assignments, projects, etc. The company has no mission statement or goal.

It is an interesting case study, but does not provide many practical how-to's to implement.

This plays well with the Dennis Bakke book, The Decision Maker, a theme of decentralized authority.
evan pon
Jan 09, 2007 evan pon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
he's not a particularly good author, and i think many of his arguments are crap. the book rambles along without much direction.

however, the ideas that are put forth in the book are great. essentially, he is questioning a lot of the traditional business practices, and giving examples from his own company of a different way of doing things. of course, part of the reason i like the book is that i have a very similar philosophy in how an ideal company would be run - i'm sure some of my friends woul
...more
Kate Davenport
Jun 22, 2012 Kate Davenport rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed it and would like to think this kind of set up is as easy as it sounds, but my experience is that you need a real group synergy to get this kind of work process started, and it needs constant work to keep it going. It's like spinning a manual potter's wheel, as long as someone is kicking the foot drive it moves smoothly and easily, but as soon as you stop, it falls back into inertia, which isn't as interesting or as useful, but it's easy.
Steve Bradshaw
May 06, 2011 Steve Bradshaw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good counter to "The Four Hour Workweek".

At times the author is a little full of himself and how special his company is, but on the whole he has some great ideas about how to set up a company where employees are truly motivated. A good complement to "Drive: The Truth behind what motivates us."

Contains plenty of inspirational anecdotes and ideas. Worth the time investment...
Mark
Aug 16, 2016 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprised I can't find the English version if this excellent book. Seller just makes it seem so easy. Perhaps it is. Perhaps he has the luxury to step out if the rat race and fulfil the process he sets out here, either way he does, and disarms the negatives. Worth reading, and consideration of the content.
Arne Vandenbussche
Ik vond dit boek erg inspirerend. De ideeën die erin verdedigd worden, zoals een zekere vrijheid wat werkuren betreft en een sterke autonomie, minder aandacht voor hiërarchie, maar inspraak voor alle werknemers, lijken mij heel waardevol. Gelukkig zijn heel wat van die zaken ook van toepassing in mijn job.
Hillary
Feb 05, 2009 Hillary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such an inspiring book. One of my friends at work that is into management books suggested it. I've never read a management book and just the genre sounded dry, but it was quite the contrary. Just reading the first chapter, I was hooked. I've watched several lectures and interviews of Ricardo Semler since then. He's a real innovator. I'd love to work for his company!
Lukas Cypra
Jan 03, 2016 Lukas Cypra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: seberozvoj, business
Knížka plná super inspirace, pokračování příběhu Semca po dobu dalších 10 let.
Oproti Podivínovi se mi ale četla hůř - některé věci se opakovaly, v některých příbězích jsem si na první přečtení nenašel pointu...
Ale k přečtení 100% doporučuji už jenom kvůli konkrétním příkladům toho, jak netradiční principy mohou inspirovat třeba i malé změny v podstatě v každé firmě.
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“One good question and one good answer are services to all. A sure sign of a troubled company is one where employees don’t care enough to ask and, if that’s the case, they’ll never care enough to fully deploy their talent. Just as curiosity is an antidote to boredom and indifference, the informed are more likely to remain interested, engaged, and alive with purpose.” 1 likes
“Profits must be judged as moral or immoral by how they are earned and how they are disposed. Without a new barometer, we are left with the old barometer—profit for its own sake, regardless of whether it is sustainable or ultimately ruinous. But over the course of a seven-day weekend when a reservoir of talent is tapped, a calling is found, a true, well-rounded definition of success is established, people may realize they’re working not for the money but literally working for and on themselves. And what a liberating realization that is.” 1 likes
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