An author’s obsessions include Amazon book rankings…and book reviews. We especially appreciate reviewers who clearly understand the subtleties of the overall message. I’ve never published a review of “Work” before, but this recent one by Bob Morris, who writes for the Dallas Business Commentary Examiner, nails it. I also like that Bob points out the pragmatic underpinnings. I worked hard to stay away from the theoretical in order to produce a guide that is believable, and therefore useful, in the real world. Thanks, Bob! -sc
Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less
Greenleaf Book Group Press (2009)
(Book Review by Bob Morris)
Others have their reasons for praising this book. Here are three of mine. First, Sam Carpenter describes and recommends a mind-set that is “different from the mental posture most people carry around with them from day to day.” He duly notes that much as he wants to have himself and his life under control, the most important benefits of that mindset, he doesn’t always fully adhere (“every minute”) to the principles and guidelines that guide and inform it. “I fall down on the job now and then.” However consistent and predictable the “Work the System” methodology may be, those who adopt it will execute it inconsistently, at least for a while. Nonetheless, he seems certain that the methodology he proposes, with its “hyper-efficient systems, ” can enable almost anyone to increase the efficiency and productivity of their own systems, “one by one.” With all due respect to human inadequacies of various kinds, Carpenter helps his reader to achieve several important improvements…over time. For example, “an elementary and yet fundamental shift in perspective” on “life’s mechanical workings.”
I also admire how candid Carpenter is about what his reader must do. “At the beginning of the process [of personal transformation] there is some heavy lifting as you create documentation. That’s okay. It’s a superb investment because the end product will be freedom [`from’ as well as `to’], a relaxed persona, and plenty of money. It will probably be the best investment of time and effort you will ever make.” Make no mistake, each of the three steps of the method involves (indeed requires) “heavy lifting.” The nature and extent of the “R” will depend almost entirely on the “I.”
Finally, I greatly appreciate the resources in the five appendices that supplement Carpenter’s thorough explanation of the “Work the System” methodology. The reader is provided with an article that Carpenter wrote, “Ockham’s Razor and the TSR”; Centratel’s “Strategic Objective”; Centratel’s “30 Principles”; Centratel’s Procedure for Procedures”; and Centratel’s “System for Communication.”
Caveat: I urge readers NOT to check out the appendices until after all of the documentation has been created and then fine-tuned, especially the Strategic Objective, the Operating Principles, and Working Procedures. Carpenter invites his readers to check out his company’s “Work the System Template”(tm) here for details.
Near the conclusion of the final chapter, as he has throughout the book, Carpenter speaks directly to his reader and offers still another valuable suggestion: “Focus on the mechanical systems that produce the results, not the other way around, and never doubt that the superb collection of systems will produce a superb primary system.”
Let the process begin. Visit his website, purchase the book, and obtain a notebook in which you can log your daily initiatives, including the completion of exercises.