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The Way We're Working Isn't Working: The Four Forgotten Needs That Energize Great Performance


“The way we’re working isn’t working—for individuals or for organizations,” write Tony Schwartz and Jean Gomes. The relentless cultural focus on “more, bigger, faster” leads to disengagement and burnout and undermines the most lasting value for organizations. Drawing on extensive, transformative work with companies such as Google, Sony, Ford, and Procter & Gamble, they demonstrate that we are not meant to operate continuously, like machines, but perform best when we pulse, meaning when we balance our expenditure of energy with intermittent periods of renewal. This allows us to attend to four key needs in our working lives—sustainability, security, self-expression, and significance—which energize us and allow us to feel truly engaged.


The authors provide a detailed route to a better way of working by practicing a powerful set of rituals that fuel sustainability, by balancing high-energy demand with intermittent physical renewal; security, by offsetting emotionally draining challenges with rituals that restore our resilience; self-expression, by complementing periods of intense left-brain, analytical thinking with time for creative and strategic contemplation; and significance, by balancing a focus on immediate needs with a commitment to serving a greater good. Whether you are a leader looking to generate the best in your people, or an individual looking to be more productive and more satisfied, Pulse is a vital resource for achieving transformation.

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