April 5, 2001
Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects - Love the Work You're With
In 1971, Richard Whiteley co-founded the Forum Corporation, which has grown to be a 700-person global training firm based in Boston. In the 1990s, while at Forum, Whiteley wrote Customer Centered Growth and Customer Driven Company, two top-selling books on customer service. He is now the principal of the Whiteley Group, a speaking and consulting firm. As you can see, Richard Whiteley is an interesting man, and Love the Work Youre With is an interesting book.
Let me first give you a quote out of Whiteleys introduction which, to me, encapsulates this books focus: [P]eople who make the internal changes that allow them to love the work theyre with find that all of a sudden work isnt work any longer. Rather it is transformed into a state where all parts of themhands, head, hear, and spiritare fully engaged (4). This message can change lives! However, most of us dont choose to dislike our work, so how exactly do we go about making these internal changes? Whitely starts the reader off on this process off with a self-assessment quiz that you can use to figure out where you are, in regards to your work life. He follows the self-assessment with six core ways of being: Follow your passion; Be home; Create your own reality; Get out of your own way; Foster your interdependence; and Be yourself. These may seem like rather intangible credos, but Whiteley emphasizes that the key [to loving the work your with] is to know where you want to be, notice when you are not there, and get back on track. Each of these ways of being is the subject of a chapter, and the book closes with a chapter for leaders, focusing on how to create a spirited workplace.
Books such as this one are risky books to promote, because books that promise to help us feel good about ourselves or help us find passion in our life and work can often be a little too preachy and a lot too vague. Not this book. You wont need to take a week off and isolate yourself on the highest cliff to contemplate sweeping life changes. Instead, Whiteley has loaded this book with over fifty brief exercises, like the self-assessment I mentioned earlier, that can help you make practical changes in your overall outlook and perform your job with refreshed verve and commitment.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.