I read about this book (ReWork) on the personal MBA website and I thought, lets give it a try, maybe this book contains some useful information for me, you know, there is always a place to learn and you can always do things better, you can always improve.
So, I bought the book, at first glance I taught it is a long book and will take me a couple of days or 2-3 weeks to read. The book has around 280 pages, but there are many illustrations in it, so it can be finished easily in a single day. Before reading the book I was reading comments and reviews and I did not understand why is there so much hype around it, I mean if you take the illustrations out of the book there are around 100-120 pages to read overall.
After reading the first chapter (The New Reality), which starts with the phrase: “This is a different kind of business book for different kinds of people…”; after finishing the book, I can confirm this sentence really characterizes the book. There are many interesting ideas in the book, the first one (for me) is the idea of why (not to) grow your business. People like to hear and talk about large numbers when they are talking about businesses or companies. The chapter Why Grow? asks why growing is the target and why do people plan to grow their business bigger and bigger. The authors say, you cannot identify what is the optimum size of your company or business; they say it is better to grow slower, because, if for some reason you need to shrink that will cause demoralization around employees and most probably will lead to employee loss.
Another interesting chapter is Make a dent in the Universe; I think this chapter really describes what is the main motor behind all the professionals and passionate people who are loving what they are doing. This chapter tries to underline the importance of feeling useful, the importance of create useful things and making changes which help and solve other people’s real problems. I would like share with you a quotation from the book: “If your going to do something, do something that matters”.
One of my personal favorites is the No Time is No Excuse chapter. It is very direct, explaining that most of the people do not make a change or do not create something, because they say there is not enough time for it. The authors say, there is always enough time, but you have to spend it right. A few extra hours each week on a long term can be really beneficial from personal development point of view and also from business point of view. If you want it, if you really want it, you’ll find the time for it.
In today’s world, startups are a hype, mostly in the IT sector; Silicon Valley is rising, nowadays everybody wants to create a startup or be part of one. Jason and David have a different opinion, their chapter, named Start a Business not a Startup describes the perceptional differences between the concept of a startup (the way how these are thought to operate) and a business. They say, startups (sometimes) are ignoring the normal economic rules and losses are considered acceptable at the beginning. Acting as a business will more probably drive you to success then with the bad concept of a startup.
The Emulate Chefs chapter underlines how important it is to share what you know and by sharing you’ll gain respect and you will find followers. The business owners are compared to chefs whom are writing cookbooks, writing the cookbook doesn’t mean the chefs will loose their job, it only means they are sharing their knowledge, in the same time, by sharing they also improve and continuously learn. Taking the metaphor of emulating chefs, the authors are affirming this book is their cookbook, and they ask afterwards what is our recipe, what is our cookbook?
Another great chapter is Hire Managers of One, in this chapter they simply explain, that proactive and self-motivated people are the drivers of continuous improvement, you can trust them, they will do their jobs without any control, at any time, without you being there and supervising.
An important part of the book is when the authors talk about owning the errors and mistakes we make, it is essential to realize that an error has been made and it was made by us, errors are good, because we can learn from those and we can improve, make changes to avoid them in the future.
I’ll close my review with the idea from chapter Send People Home at 5, you need better work hours, not more hours to get the work done. They say, if you need to get something done, you should ask the busiest person, because that man knows how to do more in less time, he knows how to optimize his processes and to organize his life better.