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The Seven-Day Weekend

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  759 ratings  ·  73 reviews
In The Seven-Day Weekend, Semler explains how he transformed a small family business into a highly profitable manufacturing, services and high-tech powerhouse - 40 times larger - while watching his favorite movies or relaxing with his son in the middle of the business day. Praise for The Seven-Day Weekend'Are there real-life lessons to be learned? The answer is ...more
Paperback, 276 pages
Published February 5th 2004 by Random House Business (first published 2003)
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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Jurgen Appelo
Feb 28, 2013 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.
Robert Morrow
Jan 30, 2011 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 ...more
Jan 22, 2008 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,
Mar 21, 2008 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.
Brad B
Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Seven-Day Weekend manages to be both thought-provoking and entertaining. Others will point out that this is not a "how-to" guide but more like a collection of anecdotes that amount to a case study of the Semco way. After reading the book, it's clear that the Semco way involves too much flexibility for a "how-to" guide to even be possible. In fact, that's kind of the point. I found Mr. Semler's book inspiring and highly recommend it. I'm not convinced that his advice will apply to every ...more
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What Ricardo Semler has done with Semco really looks like science-fiction. It seems he has challenged every basic principles a lot of people take for granted to run a business, and one cannot stop wondering how this actually worked out well.
For those who have read a bit about Collective Intelligence (e.g. "Booster l'intelligence collective"), Semco is the real-life (and successful!) laboratory for this paradigm, using self-management instead of carrot-and-stick.
The basis: if you share a common
Adam Wiggins
Nov 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: business, gave-up
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
Pera Barrett
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: club
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
Mar 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Anton Iokov
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: physical-books
Just watch the Semler's Ted talk. If it's not motivating enough to read the book, I don't know what is.

Many preach democracy, transparency and freedom. Few practice them once in power —Ricardo is a notable exception.

Would like to hear more from Semco workers though. Rating and reviews on Glassdoor are not stellar: Semco Energy, Semco Plastics, Semco Maritime and Semco Instruments.

P.S. As with almost any business book, it could have easily been twice as short.
Jan 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written rather in the style of self-help books (repetitive, with an enthusiasm I find often off-putting), the book has some very interesting insights though into the world of work and what could be changed about it. Basically... almost everything.

I very much liked the main assumption of the book: that working people are actually adults who should be treated (and empowered) as such and not mischievous children in need of control and punishment. The ideas put forward would merit serious
Alan Newton
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An interesting and absorbing read, which goes (as one may expect) much farther than his famous TED Talk. I've long been an admirer of his style and approach, but hadn't delved into the intricate detail of how and what until now. Utterly fascinating and a real lesson in leadership. A bible for anyone starting a new business and wanting to create a different type of organisation in terms of self-governing democracy etc. Some great ideas and pointers.
Sep 26, 2017 rated it liked it
An inspiring read all about giving your employees more trust. They are adults so treat them like adults. Stop monitoring them all the time. Focus on the results they provide for the business and that's it.

You'll leave this book with many great ideas to try in your business, but it's not a guidebook on how to implement them all next week. You'll have to do some trial and error to get that.
Anita Ashland
Aug 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
This model of management where there is autonomy and completely lack of micromanagement is one I wish was the norm. This book was about 100 page too long, however, as he rambles on with stories that are kind of repetitive. And the book has no how-to information, which is to be expected, as he runs his companies with no rules.
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended to anyone who's questioning whether there's life at the end of this rat race. Additionally, this book should be required reading for all leaders of organizations and for anyone in the business of running a business or leading people.
Marta Kondryn
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Devoured this book over 1.5 days. Amazing, inspiring, so many nuggets on how to drive the company to become more self-managing, empower employees, diminish the power of titles and high egos. I recommend to read it if you are in HR, management or running your own business.
Vivek Kumthekar
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
You would never know that Ricardo Semler's style of management will work in real life.
You will believe it when you read it .( Stealing phrase from my other favourite book by Wayne Dyer's You will see it when you believe it ).
Tom Konicek
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful, strongly recommend for everyone working in bigger organizations...
Pierre Boer
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the more interesting business, if we can call it that, books I've read. It challenged me to think about a change in philosophy around work, effort, passion and leadership.
Simon Ong
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A lot of things make senses but the book don’t provide a formula on how to practice what has been done in his company. I was really hoping to grasp some know-how skills.
Lee Adams
Semler definitely has some 'out there' ideas worth contemplating. I can't say I drank the Kool-aid but good food for thought on a few concepts.
Coen Cuijpers
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Together with maverick this changed my view on work, weekends, stillness and leisure. It actually changed my life.
Aug 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
original review posted here:

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
Harmeet Singh
Dec 22, 2013 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
Jan 02, 2013 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 ...more
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
Dec 23, 2012 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
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“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.” 2 likes
“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
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