Monday Jan 10 2011
I just finished reading a really good ‘how to’ book by Russell Bishop called Workarounds That Work: How to Conquer Anything That Stands in Your Way at Work. This book is today’s best guide for having our work lives work.
Although I am not generally a fan of ‘how to’ books, especially about the workplace, Bishop has written a book for living well set in the context of work. Moreover, while the book is definitely written for and delivers to people who want tools and techniques, what he is offering provides a much deeper insight into the more profound questions of who we are and whether we really do have a choice about having our lives at work be satisfying and fulfilling.
“Workarounds” is basically a euphemism for being personally responsible for whatever gets in your way or whatever you imagine is limiting you having the results you want. Bishop shows us how our story and explanations about ‘the way it is’ can and do blind us to larger possibilities and action. Our future will be a function of our actions. If we want to get past the past (that is, get around whatever our historical understanding is telling us is in the way), then we need to see that our choice and our power is in changing how we relate to other people or the circumstances.
In a recent Gallop survey, it was reported that an astounding 84% of respondents were unhappy with their jobs. Since most of us spend the greater part of our lives at work, it is sad—if not tragic—that so many of us are feeling trapped or are being victims of our circumstances. Russell Bishop has spent his life working to empower people to see that they have a choice in how they relate to and experience their lives. His life’s work is evident and extraordinarily clear in this jewel of a book.
While I obviously recommend you check this new book out, I also recommend some pre-reading work. Specifically, make a list of all the situations and conversations you have at work about what should change or what the problems are that make going to work a chore. Ask yourself what your life might look like if going to work was the best and most empowering aspect of being alive. Ask yourself what you would change if you had a ‘magic wand’ and could transform any situation into an opportunity for creative self-expression and breakthrough results.
With these thoughts in mind, open Workarounds that Work and begin your journey of transforming work into wonder and wisdom into action.