The reality is that few organizations have figured out how to innovate, adapt, and create amazing things without burning their people out.

These were the words of Lindsay McGregor about the recent Amazon work culture expose. The Amazon work culture story has come at a great time. For the last month I have been working on the first draft of a the 2nd workbook in The Leadership Exercises. This workbook is on personal productivity. The title is tentatively:

Bear Much Fruit That Lasts: Insights into Personal Productivity

I spent about six months in reading, research and preparing to write. I am getting a rough first draft done in about a month. I will then have six to eight weeks to do a good second draft. But I digress. I have been thinking non-stop for the better part of this year on time management, priority management, excellence in the workplace, efficiency, capacity, success . . . and dozens of themes and practices related to this.

And I have been paying very close attention to work place performance, work habits, results generation . . . I have been amazed (and blessed) at the work habits of many. There are some leaders I see who get exceptional results. They have high levels of expertise in their areas of work, and they have the habits of personal productivity that generate outstanding results. I have also seen minimal work ethic, poor work habits, and the absence of even basic time-priority-work management tactics. 

From work-aholics to something of a slacker mindset when it comes to work . . . and all points in-between. I have seen it, talked about it, and am writing a workbook to help anyone create and maintain excellent work habits. 

But I was struck by the excessive work habits at Amazon.

And even more struck by McGregor's comment. 

I know I generate some very good results. I also know I work very hard and long to do so. The questions I have are:

Can I generate exceptional results without working long and hard?
Can you generate exceptional results without working long and hard?
If we can't generate those results apart from long and hard work, is it okay to have average results from less effort?

What do you think?
How about you and your work ethic and your results?


Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International