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The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work

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What really sets the best managers above the rest? It’s their power to build a cadre of employees who have great inner work lives —consistently positive emotions; strong motivation; and favorable perceptions of the organization, their work, and their colleagues. The worst managers undermine inner work life, often unwittingly.

As Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer explain in The Progress Principle , seemingly mundane workday events can make or break employees’ inner work lives. But it’s forward momentum in meaningful work—progress—that creates the best inner work lives. Through rigorous analysis of nearly 12,000 diary entries provided by 238 employees in 7 companies, the authors explain how managers can foster progress and enhance inner work life every day.

The book shows how to remove obstacles to progress, including meaningless tasks and toxic relationships. It also explains how to activate two forces that enable (1) catalysts —events that directly facilitate project work, such as clear goals and autonomy—and (2) nourishers —interpersonal events that uplift workers, including encouragement and demonstrations of respect and collegiality.

Brimming with honest examples from the companies studied, The Progress Principle equips aspiring and seasoned leaders alike with the insights they need to maximize their people’s performance.

272 pages, Hardcover

First published July 19, 2011

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About the author

Teresa Amabile

20 books36 followers
Teresa Amabile is a Baker Foundation Professor and a Director of Research at Harvard Business School. Originally educated as a chemist, Teresa received her doctorate in psychology from Stanford University. She studies how everyday life inside organizations can influence people and their performance. Teresa’s research encompasses creativity, productivity, innovation, and inner work life – the confluence of emotions, perceptions, and motivation that people experience as they react to events at work.

Teresa’s most recent discoveries appear in her book, The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work. The book, based on research into nearly 12,000 daily diary entries from over 200 professionals inside organizations, illuminates how everyday events at work can impact employee engagement and creative productivity. Published in August 2011 by Harvard Business Review Press, the book is co-authored with Teresa’s husband and collaborator, Steven Kramer, Ph.D. Her other books include Creativity in Context and Growing Up Creative. Teresa has published over 100 scholarly articles and chapters, in outlets including top journals in psychology (such as Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and American Psychologist) and in management (Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal). She is also the author of The Work Preference Inventory and KEYS to Creativity and Innovation. Teresa has used insights from her research in working with various groups in business, government, and education, including Procter & Gamble, Novartis International AG, Motorola, IDEO, and the Creative Education Foundation. She has presented her theories, research results, and practical implications in dozens of forums, including the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Young Presidents’ Organization annual university, and the Front End of Innovation annual conference.

As an educator, Teresa strives to teach leaders and aspiring leaders ways in which they can simultaneously achieve their most passionate career aspirations, further the success of their organizations and employees, and serve the higher aims of the societies in which they work. At Harvard Business School, Teresa has taught MBA and executive courses on managing for creativity, leadership, and ethics. Previously, at Brandeis University, she taught social psychology, organizational psychology, the psychology of creativity, and statistics. She served as the host-instructor of the 26-part series, Against All Odds: Inside Statistics, originally broadcast on PBS.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 113 reviews
Profile Image for Roy Klein.
91 reviews10 followers
January 1, 2012
I've decided to stop reading this book halfway through.
The reason is that the book contains a small amount of simplistic advice, almost no practical methods for implementing this advice, and a large body of narrated stories of people who the writers researched. The narrative is interesting at first, but grows tedious and uninformative very quickly. I suppose the writer didn't want to throw to waste all the body of text she collected from her tests subject, but that doesn't make that body of text worth my time.

I have a feeling that the book could've been effectively shortened to a booklet or an essay while retaining most of its value.
Profile Image for BuenoBomb aka Andre Bueno.
126 reviews121 followers
August 4, 2018
Good book though I felt it was a bit redundant and long winded.


Inner work life has to do with how an employee feels about working somewhere and which direction you are shifting their feelings toward their goal. Do you make them feel good about being apart of the organization?
Three components of inner work life: emotions, perceptions, and motivation.

Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
Happiness boosts creative problem solving that can longer and build up over time

Making progress in meaningful work is the greatest stimulant in promoting the inner work life

Progress and achievement is important
Small wins and incremental change is powerful especially when aligned with meaningful work
Meaningful work: is it contributing value to someone? Does someone depend on you? Are you contributing towards someone?
Give people ownership
Make sure that the work in your organization is producing is progressing forward inch by inch and you're building up momentum
Keep the progress loop going and remove obstacles to make the job easier

The Catalyst Factor (7 Catalysts):
1. Clear goals and time frames
2. Give autonomy
3. Provide access to resources
4. Given enough time
5. Given help and collaborating with others
6. Learning from success and failures
7. Allowing ideas to flow, being open to creative solutions

Know how to manage the work climate by knowing the 3 forces: Consideration for people and their ideas, does the organization promote collaboration?,
Communication between lines of work are important.

Small wins are important for building momentum or work catalysts
Support inter divisional communication
Remove inhibitions that hinder progress and successes

Nourishment factor
1. Respect your employees and their efforts. Especially when handling negative situations.
2. Encouragement of their work
3. Handling emotional situations with empathy.
4. Group inclusion and making sure everyone feels included.

Minimize conflicts between teams by promoting clear communication between employees

Manage your employees using checklists to ensure your subordinates feel there is constant progress that is occurring. The more they feel they are making constant progress (and are recognized for these actions)- the more they will feel they are working towards something worthwhile.


Briefly describe 1 or 2 events today that indicated either a small win or a possible breakthrough.

1. Did the team have clear short- and longterm goals for meaningful work?
2. Did team members have sufficient autonomy to solve problems and take ownership of the project?
3. Did they have all the resources they needed to move forward efficiently?
4. Did they have sufficient time to focus on meaningful work?
5. Did I encourage team members to help one another?
6. Did I discuss lessons from today’s successes and problems with my team?
7. Did I help ideas flow freely within the group?

Briefly describe 1 or 2 events today that indicated a small setback or a possible crisis.

1. Was there any confusion regarding long- or short-term goals for meaningful work?
2. Were team members overly constrained in their ability to solve problems and feel ownership of the project?
3. Did they lack any of the resources they needed to move forward effectively?
4. Did they lack sufficient time to focus on meaningful work?
5. Did I or others fail to provide needed or requested help?
6. Did I “punish” failure, or neglect to find lessons and/or opportunities in problems and successes?
7. Did I or others cut off the presentation or debate of ideas prematurely?

1. Did I show respect to team members by recognizing their contributions to progress, attending to their ideas and treating them as trusted professionals?
2. Did I encourage team members who faced difficult challenges?
3. Did I support team members who had a personal or professional problem?
4. Is there a sense of personal and professional affiliation and camaraderie within the team?

1.Did I disrespect any team members by failing to recognize their contributions to progress, not attending to their ideas, or not treating them as trusted professionals?
2. Did I discourage a member of the team in any way?
3. Did I neglect a team member who had a personal or professional problem?
4. Is there tension or antagonism among members of the team or between team members and me?

1. Did I see any indications of the quality of my subordinates’ inner work lives today?
a. Perceptions of the work, team, management, firm
b. Emotions
c. Motivation
2. What specific events might have affected inner work life today?

1. What can I do tomorrow to strengthen the catalysts and nourishers identified and provide ones that are lacking?
2. What can I do tomorrow to start eliminating the inhibitors and toxins identified?
Profile Image for loafingcactus.
428 reviews48 followers
September 25, 2012
One of the main points of the book is a by-the-way in chapter 8 that isn't even mentioned in the chapter title. What doofs! So here's the deal: work nourishers, catalysts and a sense of progress matter. If you are manager, don't leave those things to chance. Instead, make a checklist and make sure those things happen for your people. There, now you don't have to read the book.
Profile Image for Fred.
26 reviews1 follower
August 7, 2012
Was prompted to read this book by review by Seth Godin. Primary concepts are pretty much a no brainers once they are explained. I recommend it because it brings light to the common sense we know, but need reminded that we do know. Plus the idea that creativity has many facets hopefully will empower a reader.

It continues to amaze me that current management dogma has largely missed the boat on these precepts. It is somewhat repetitive, but that seems to be a hallmark of current business related literature.
Profile Image for Yevgeniy Brikman.
Author 3 books602 followers
December 24, 2017
This book would've been far better as a blog post. It makes several important arguments in the preface and then repeats them over and over again for a few hundred pages, adding only a handful of valuable nuggets throughout the rest of the book. So, to save you some time, here's a summary that captures 95% of the book's content:

* Making progress in work—small incremental steps forward on a daily basis—is one of the most important drivers of happiness, productivity, and motivation. Consider video games (e.g., experience points, progress bars, leveling up) and fitness (e.g., lifting a few more pounds every time you go to the gym).

* Hitting setbacks in work—getting stuck, having projects canceled, being ignored, yak shaving—is one of the most important causes of unhappiness, lack of productivity, and loss of motivation.

* Therefore, the main job of management is to (a) ensure that the work feels meaningful and (b) to remove all obstacles to daily progress. Do that well, and motivation, happiness, and high performance will take care of itself; do it poorly, and no amount of incentives or punishments will help.

That's really all there is to it. There are a few other bits and pieces in the book that are painfully obvious (e.g., provide support to your workers, don't ignore their opinions or insult them), some vague advice on how to facilitate progress, and that's it. So, in short: make small, incremental progress, every single day. Not surprisingly, this is also a guiding principle of agile and many other methodologies.

As always, I've saved a few quotes from the book:

"Most people have strong intrinsic motivation to do their work, at least early in their careers. That motivation exists, and continues, until something gets in the way. This has a startling implication: as long as the work is meaningful, managers do not have to spend time coming up with ways to motivate people to do that work. They are much better served by removing barriers to progress, helping people experience the intrinsic satisfaction that derives from accomplishment."

"This pattern is what we call the progress principle: of all the positive events that influence inner work life, the single most powerful is progress in meaningful work; of all the negative events, the single most powerful is the opposite of progress—setbacks in the work. We consider this to be a fundamental management principle: facilitating progress is the most effective way for managers to influence inner work life. Even when progress happens in small steps, a person’s sense of steady forward movement toward an important goal can make all the difference between a great day and a terrible one."

"The effect of setbacks on emotions is stronger than the effect of progress. Although progress increases happiness and decreases frustration, the effect of setbacks is not only opposite on both types of emotions—it is greater. The power of setbacks to diminish happiness is more than twice as strong as the power of progress to boost happiness. The power of setbacks to increase frustration is more than three times as strong as the power of progress to decrease frustration."
Profile Image for Nelson Zagalo.
Author 9 books320 followers
November 10, 2016
Teresa Amabile e Steven Kramer, ambos professores de psicologia, realizaram um estudo com 238 empregados em 7 empresas, a quem pediram para todos os dias preencherem um diário das suas atividades, tendo tudo resultado em mais de 12 000 entradas que foram depois analisadas qualitativamente. O seu achado, dá nome a este livro, e apesar de ser bom, sabe a pouco. Não que o estudo não seja válido, mas porque a conclusão não difere tanto de outros estudos sobre motivação já existentes, e que são aqui completamente ignorados.

Este estudo interessava-me em particular, porque a variável de Progresso é essencial nas narrativas e nos jogos, e é por isso que a tenho trabalhado, no sentido de a identificar melhor para assim compreender melhor o seu uso criativo, desde logo entender melhor como nós nos movemos em função desse progresso. Mas o que aqui se apresenta é parco.

Ou seja, como resultado final Amabile acaba por nos dizer que aquilo que mantém as pessoas motivadas no seu trabalho, é receber feedback que dê conta dos avanços nas tarefas. E que para tal é preciso que os chefes e gestores, sejam capazes de dividir o trabalho, e esforço, e por sua vez sejam capazes de garantir que o feedback é realizado. Concordo em absoluto, mas isto é aquilo que já está contido na segunda variável de Deci, a "competência”, de que já aqui falei antes, e que como digo também, já tinha sido identificado por Vygotski, bastante antes. Ou seja, nada de novo.

Este livro de Amabile é curto, porque ao centrar-se apenas nas competências, esquece os outros dois princípios de Deci, a Autonomia e os Relacionamentos, sem esses ficamos com todo o processo coxo. Um empregado, sem autonomia, que seja obrigado a fazer apenas o que lhe mandam, que não possa dar nada de si para o processo, é um trabalhador desmotivado, o progresso só, não chega, é preciso significado, e esse advém daquilo que cada um faz com o mundo com que interage. Por outro lado, o trabalhador precisa de poder discutir essas tarefas com os pares, compreender como se equipara, o que faz melhor, ou menos mal, precisa de ter um espelho que contribua para correção e melhoramento.

Neste caso concreto, e já que Amabile escreve o livro orientado a gestores, as suas preocupações não deveriam centrar-se tanto no design do processo, mas mais nas pessoas, nomeadamente nos tais gestores. Porque se o Progresso é um bom indicador sobre como agir, não chega no caso do gestor ser apenas um bom técnico, é preciso ser-se muito mais na capacidade de relacionamento pessoal e social, enquanto líder.

Amabile limita-se no final a apresentar meia-dúzia de conselhos e recomendações aos gestores, baseados no tal Progresso, mas que não dizem muito, parecem simples senso comum, ficando a sensação que mais valia ter feito um livro para divulgar os resultados das entrevistas, dos diários analisados, e não se terem focado em criar grandes teorias, menos ainda dar grandes conselhos.

Publicado em http://virtual-illusion.blogspot.cz/2...
Profile Image for Todd.
108 reviews65 followers
February 11, 2021
This book is an amazing example of the dictum do not say in two-hundred pages what you can say in twenty. Alas publishers do not pay very much for twenty pages. Then, what it would say in those twenty pages is so obvious you probably don't need to read those either. The book offers up the following great nugget of wisdom towards the concluding chapters: one boss telling a team member that "he has his head up his ass" inhibited the team; meanwhile another boss fighting for their product not to get canned nourished and catalyzed that team. Imagine that! The boss telling a team off and they feel bad; another boss fighting for their breakthrough and they feel motivated. Thanks Progress Principle! This is the lesson of the 2010s. You can draw out simple practical business wisdom over a couple hundred pages, dress it up, make it sound new, and repackage it to hungry ravaged audiences, looking for meaning and non soul-crushing work in late stage capitalism. Get ready for my publishing deal: The Profit Principle: How Making Money is Good and Losing Money is Bad.
Profile Image for Melvin.
16 reviews
September 26, 2011
An enjoyable reading addressing how positive and negative work environments arise and how they affect people's creative problem solving.

This book is based on a study conducted in a set of 7 companies in 3 different industries in which knowledge workers and professionals working on complex problems collected and reported daily diary entries about their inner work lives, i.e., their perceptions, emotions, and motivations during the work day. Although most questions asked for numerical ratings, the most important question, "Briefly describe one event from today that stands out in your mind.", allowed respondents free rein.

Why inner work life matters?: no matter how brilliant a company's or project's strategy might be the strategy's execution depends on great performance by people inside the organization. Unquestionably, performance improves greatly when workers have positive perceptions, emotions, and motivations about their work and their working environment. The Key Three positive types of events that are part of every workday and that influence inner work life are: (1) progress in meaningful work, (2) catalysts (events that directly help project work), and (3) nourishers (interpersonal events that uplift the people doing the work). Of all of these positive events that influence inner work life, the single most powerful is progress in meaningful work [The Progress Principle]. Hence, the best way to motivate people, day in and day out, is by facilitating progress-even small wins.

Conventional management practices for a healthy and productive working environment include hiring the best talent and providing them appropriate incentives, giving stretch assignments to develop talent, using emotional intelligence to connect with each individual, and reviewing performance carefully. Although these conventional practices are important, they miss a fundamental act of good management: managing for progress .

The findings in this book are highly relevant to Agile software processes, due to their strong dependency on, perhaps motivated, individuals; Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches should manage for progress as one of their main responsibilities is to remove roadblocks impeding progress of the development team.

Profile Image for David Phillips.
12 reviews53 followers
June 20, 2012
This is a great book for leading other people. It helps those leading others to see what really matters to others. It helps focus our efforts at inspiring and motivating others and to help those we lead make progress along the way to meaningful work and a healthy inner life. Based on a year of research with multiple companies, this book is worth the leaders time and reflection. The more meaningful the work, the more healthy our inner life and the more progress we make in our work, the more effective the company and the more creative and production people will be.
Profile Image for Amy.
27 reviews1 follower
March 2, 2012
Not bad. It's research, so it takes a while before we get to any practical bits. Once we did get into the meat of it though, there were lots of insights into how managers can cultivate productive work in their teams. I wish I had read this five years ago.
74 reviews
October 19, 2012
This book is a psychological look at the human side of management. Rather than measuring employees and productivity with simple numbers or behavioral psychology, the authors conducted a survey of employees at work to judge cognition, perception, and emotion. The employees were from numerous businesses, all with different management styles, goals, and operational environments. One theme was that employee[s invisible and inner perceptions, emotions, and motivations effect productivity. Utilizing different methods of measurement, the authors correlated factors such as business success, product success, helpful project management, task successes and setbacks, and communication as having an effect on employees inner work lives, and thus their productivity. Although some factors were based on external effectors, such as market forces, numerous methods of improving successes and preventing loss to these inner lives were developed. Techniques were given for both managers and individuals to become aware of, develop, review, and plan on progress to bolster their inner selves at work.
Profile Image for Jeff.
219 reviews15 followers
August 6, 2014
"The Progress Principle" states simply that progress in meaningful work is the single greatest factor when it comes to creating high functioning teams and work environments. Progress in meaningful work serves as trigger for positive perceptions, emotions, and motivations. This creates a virtuous feedback loop, greatly increasing workplace performance.

The tenor of the book echoes that of "The Happiness Advantage" and "Drive", suggesting that by supporting progress, providing positive catalysts, and nourishing staff, leaders can increase teamwork, creativity and performance.
Profile Image for John Pestka.
18 reviews2 followers
October 20, 2012
Excellent and insightful. The authors make it incredibly clear that managers must realize and recognize that making progress in meaningful work is the top motivating factor for employees, leading to, as they call it, superior inner work life. I appreciate that it's another book backed by lengthy, significant research, this time following employees at various companies for months on end and asking them to do daily journal entries. Another book I highly recommend for anyone that supervises/manages people.
Profile Image for Kelley.
4 reviews
May 5, 2019
This book has some great insights into the myriad of small moments that have a big impact on our “inner work life”. I did find it laboured the same points repeatedly and elaborated on them with an unnecessary amount of neuroscience.
Profile Image for Sindhura.
Author 2 books81 followers
January 17, 2020
I started this year with a non-fiction audiobook. It wasn't as bad as thought it would be. Though nothing surprising, it did have some useful insights that we don't always keep at the top of our heads. It got repetitive a little, but it's a refresher on some of the good practices already recommended or followed today in most tech companies.
Profile Image for Amy Carlson.
15 reviews2 followers
February 7, 2023
Helpful insight on how to have a positive work life, some things were obvious. Others weren't, a must read for someone who needs to remember why being positive during work is the best thing and is powerful to have.
Profile Image for Scott Heyman.
46 reviews
August 26, 2022
Excellent book! Short read that I thought captured a lot of insightful comments about managing and motivating people. As much as I learned from it, I also found it helpful to reflect on my managers and what I admire/wish they changed and how I can influence that.
Profile Image for Robert Chapman.
501 reviews46 followers
September 14, 2012
Great book, I really enjoyed the simplicity of the book backed up by the study data. The way the authors define and describe "the inner work life" throughout the book makes so much sense. Read this book.
Profile Image for Chris Weatherburn.
Author 1 book1 follower
March 22, 2020
Researchers from Harvard assessed the themes from employees at different levels of management from several different business organisations.  They assessed 11,637 diary entries from 26 teams and 238 participants.  Somehow they manage to get them to respond (I can't comprehend how they managed to actually get people to complete these diaries), with also regular questionnaires. Data analysed with quantitative and qualitative techniques to establish ways to gain progress in business.  People responded about what motivated them when working in an organisation, they then anonymized the names of the companies.

This led to breaking down components of motivation, inner work life and highlights the fact that motivation can be internally or externally driven

You can risk overdriving someone, particularly if you consistently attempt to externally drive them by reminding them of deadlines.  This external motivation can undermine their internal motivation and be detrimental. 

Employees that are happy are more productive. Be aware of different people's personality traits and different ways in which they become happier. Employees tend to gain more insights and breakthroughs when happy and internally motivated.  To increase internal satisfaction it is important to obtain meaningful progress on tasks.  Setbacks are a loss of progress, be aware these are much more detrimental than the beneficial effects of progress, around three times worse.

A good manager removes barriers, highlights the importance of a task and assists progress.  Provide employees with autonomy and do not be hard on them when they make mistakes. The importance of time pressures is mentioned, if you have a lot of time with no guidance this is not great for productivity.  The day full of urgent business with high time pressures is a recipe for burnout.  Ideally aim for low to moderate time pressures with intermittent periods of urgency to obtain the most from your staff.
Profile Image for Ammar Sheikh.
7 reviews
January 14, 2023
The Progress Principle by Steven Kramer and Teresa Amabile is a must-read for any leader or team member looking to improve their work performance and satisfaction. The authors provide a comprehensive framework for understanding the importance of progress in the workplace, and share numerous real-world examples of how their findings have been applied to improve teamwork and productivity.

One of the key frameworks they introduce is the "inner work life" framework. This framework explains how an individual's inner work life, which includes emotions, perceptions, and motivation, is affected by progress (or lack thereof) in their work. They argue that progress in meaningful work is the most powerful driver of positive inner work life, which in turn leads to better performance, higher motivation, and greater overall satisfaction with one's job.

2nd framework they introduce is the "progress loop", which illustrates the cyclical relationship between progress, positive emotions, and motivation. According to the authors, when an individual experiences progress in their work, it leads to positive emotions, which in turn fuels more motivation and engagement. This cycle then leads to further progress, and so on, creating a self-reinforcing loop of positive momentum.

Furthermore, the authors introduce the idea of " catalysts and inhibitors" which are events that either accelerate or block progress in work. They described how catalysts such as autonomy, mastery, and clear goals can boost the inner work life and productivity. On the other hand, inhibitors such as resource deprivation, lack of autonomy and poor communication can cause negative inner work life and inhibit progress. I recommend this book to anyone looking to make a positive impact in their work and team.
5 reviews
October 2, 2018
This book talks about how the small progress well appreciated on time keeps up the momentum and helps in building success in the teams we lead.

I wanted to apply the progress principle on myself before applying it on my team. My personal takeaway- Every small progress made is more important than being perfect from the very beginning. All that matters is the progress made. Appreciating and supporting myself is the most important factor.

Always make sure there are more number of positive events and triggers at work place than the negative events. Negative events make more damage than we all can imagine.

The Progress principle (Power of meaningful accomplishment): Small wins are very powerful when aligned with meaningful work. Help your team find meaning in what they do by clearly defining ownership and connect it with the big picture, by appreciating the progress and by clearing the obstacles.

The catalyst Factor(Power of project support)
Clear goals, autonomy, resources,enough time,help with the work, learning from problems and successes, allowing ideas to flow.

The nourishment factor(Power of interpersonal support)
Respect during tough times, Encouragement, Emotional support, Feeling of inclusion.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Heidi.
318 reviews4 followers
January 31, 2020
This was an assigned book for my graduate program, but I think it would be helpful for anyone who is a leader or manager of an organization. The only reason I gave it three instead of four stars is because the essence could have taken two chapters, and not an entire book - there were far too many examples and redundant sections. The authors studied seven main companies and used a system of having employees submit daily journal entries that they coded and analyzed to see trends in how managers and company culture affected them. In essence, the idea is that helping employees feel like they are making progress at work and helping them have a positive "inner work life" creates an environment of happy, productive, motivated employees. Additionally, the negative setbacks experienced by employees far outweigh the impact of positive events, so managers are cautioned to do all they can to mitigate negative events and create a supportive, encouraging, environment.
198 reviews
March 22, 2020
(Kathy Sierra suggested this book, and references it in Badass)[return][return]overall - OMG I love this book and I won't shut up about it. It completely confirms my belief that a manager job is to support and enable your people. (and none of the in text statistics talk made me cringe, but I'm not reading the appendix just in case)[return][return]Two bits that made me go running for post-its:[return]"How do you know when you have made progress?" is a sidebar about not just getting feedback from people, but setting up things like test suites that can give someone feedback without waiting for another human. I am v intrigued by the possibilities here. [return]Peter Drucker quote "The goal of management is to make productive the specific strengths and knowledge of each individual." and then [return]"In Drucker's view, a manager's job is to server employees by ensuring that their needs for challenging work and satisfying work lives are fulfilled" <- this this this this this
176 reviews
September 24, 2021
I’m not sure this book provided a lot more information than those in the business world already know. The authors talk about how to get people to be most productive and satisfied at work. One thing it does offer is vocabulary and terms to use with teams to explain what is and isn’t part of the team or organization’s culture. The authors describe Inner Work Life, or positivity about work, managers, and colleagues. These things are clearly important. Civility, psychological safety, empathy, and support are (of course) going to reap satisfaction and productivity from employees. The example of the tension that exists between R&D vs. Manufacturing didn’t really give enough direction to help teams that are in this situation. Overall, while providing useful buzz words to describe team values or culture, I was left wanting more about how to make progress on teams beyond getting people to feel valued and supported.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Sammy.
74 reviews32 followers
December 31, 2016
The whole book can basically be outlined by these ideas.

Journaling everyday with discipline is the most important contributor to progress and reflection. It also contributes to self realization and happiness

Focusing on progress everyday no matter how small is the biggest contributor to growth.

Create positive feedback loops instead of negative because...negative happenings have a stronger effect on psyche than positive ones

Helping people helps you

Work that is meaningful is difficult and that's okay.
Profile Image for Taryn Vian.
11 reviews
February 18, 2020
This book details the factors that lead to a great inner work life, including the progress principle (how we are much more likely to feel good about work if we make progress versus experiencing setbacks), catalyst factor (what managers and leaders can do to support the work of others), and nourishment factors (triggers such as respect and emotional support) vs. inhibitors and toxins (need little explanation). Gives ideas for how to manage for meaningful progress in your own life, and in the lives of people you are leading.
Profile Image for Daniela D.
126 reviews5 followers
January 2, 2023
I cannot say I read this book too closely, but from the cursory audio version while on a very long walk, I learned quite a bit about treating employees with dignity and respect and really the key thing to retention is making sure there is transparency and empowerment. Re transparency: it's all about being clear of the goals and objectives, not changing them at a whim or at least if that does happen, then engaging everyone in the process; also keeping promises a manager makes. Empowering is about letting the employee decide the best course of action and avoiding micromanaging.
Profile Image for Luigino Bottega.
Author 4 books9 followers
August 12, 2021
The energy of our actions starts within us. This energy is generated by the fly-wheel of the “Cycle of awareness”: the more we’re aware, the more motivated we are to act.
Being more aware also allows us to have greater self-esteem and believe in our abilities, appreciating the results we obtain for ourselves and others.
The cycle of awareness is like a fly-wheel we spin until it reaches sufficient momentum to power itself and accelerates.
Inspiring book!
Profile Image for Rick.
253 reviews2 followers
October 30, 2017
Confirms what seems to be intuitive that our perceptions about our work, what we do, how we do it can not only be influenced positively and negatively but will ultimately impact our ability to perform. And that making progress no matter how small is the key drive, good stuff along with some takeaways that can be used to help create the environment for progress and a fulfilling inner work life.
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