Book review

Make it work. Strategies for success in organisations.

Make It Work offers an exciting new perspective on the problems of the workplace. Instead of showing employees how to find solutions elsewhere, the authors provide them with many straightforward tools to help them look inward to find the passions inside them that are at the root of their satisfaction problems, help them choose a direction, and show them how to build skills from that valuable personal foundation.

In their search for greener pastures, many employees leave their organizations with dreams of overcoming all of the difficulties they face in jobs that fail to offer them the opportunities they need to reach their fullest potential. In Make It Work, leadership expert Joe Frodsham and human resources expert Bill Gargiulo show disgruntled employees how the same problems they face where they are today are probably waiting for them in the next venue they choose. They also describe numerous ways employees can improve their jobs, lives and careers by staying where they are and engaging more effectively with their organizations.

Make it work. Strategies for success in organisations.

The authors write: “The career-related patterns and issues in which you constantly find yourself are not a result of the problems in your company. They are largely a result of the way you think and act.” They explain that career success comes from adopting the beliefs and behaviors that drive career success in your organization, and if you keep doing what you are doing, “you will keep getting what you’ve got.” Make It Work presents clear ways employees can find passion and success while continuing to work for their current employer.

Your Heart + Your Organization = Your Success

The authors explain that the answer to your career problems is inside of you and what you love because the people who find sustained fulfillment in their careers are those who have chosen to do what they love. Making a deep, heartfelt commitment generates opportunities through both predictable and unpredictable ways. Bringing what you love into your work and life might be difficult and rare, but it can be transformative. The authors write that the ability of any employee to achieve an elevated title or a higher salary increases exponentially when he or she dedicates him- or herself to doing what he or she loves.

Make It Work begins with a self-assessment tool that is designed to help readers assess their current level of career success. By completing it, individuals create a basis from which they can begin to build their careers.

Next, the authors debunk 16 prevailing myths about careers by stating an assumption that many people make about their careers and explaining the truth behind the myth. For example, “Myth #1” is “You must manage your image – be your own brand.” The authors explain that focusing your energies on style instead of substance can become a prison of your own making, and worrying about what others are thinking about you can actually create great anxiety. Instead of managing your image, they write, you should be clear on who you are and what you love, and find opportunities to pursue this within your organization.

Understanding the truths behind the myths can be liberating, the authors explain, and can free employees from the false beliefs that bottle them up, allowing them to take control of their own careers: an important first step in building a career of purpose and passion.

Build a Foundation

The authors then describe four steps for starting on the inside that can help employees build a foundation for their careers: Identify your passions, discover your core, find your career fit, and declare your career. To describe the importance of making a deep choice that is based on your passions, the authors point to Michael Dell, whose passionate core of computers, efficiency and cutting-edge growth has helped him create a multi-billion dollar company that has revolutionized the way goods are sold and distributed.

The second part of Make It Work offers the following six practices for working more effectively in an organization: Shape your perfect role, make key decision makers your champion, develop your capabilities, follow your company’s real rules for success, surface opportunities through your connections, and stay connected with your passionate core.

The authors remind readers that real career wealth starts on the inside, and these six navigating practices are most powerful when they are aligned with your passionate core because that helps them support what you love.

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  • Creating a new sales deployment model for a healthcare company
  • Developing a position evaluation and compensation model for a professional medical association   
  • Improving services to customer segments by deepening their understanding of customer attitudes

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