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The Truth about Talent: A guide to building a dynamic workforce, realizing potential and helping leaders succeed by Jeremy Kourdi, Jacqueline Davies

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Chapter 8. The Meaning of Work

Every one of us can send emails on Sunday night, but how many of us know how to go to the movies on Monday afternoon? If you don't know how to go to the movies from 2 to 4, you're in trouble because you've just taken on something that unbalances life, but you haven't rebalanced it with something else.

Ricardo Semler's 'Leading by omission' speech at MIT Sloan School of Management

The meaning of work

In most organizations, people wish to leave it better than when they arrived: they aspire to deliver quality as well as achieve recognition and reward. This should come as no surprise; after all, very few successful people are content simply to work on a pointless endeavour for long. Proving this point is Pearson, the largest education company in the world with some of the strongest brands in business information and consumer publishing, including the Financial Times, Penguin and Pearson itself. Senior Pearson executives go out of their way to explain to their managers how the business started, how it has come to be successful and what makes it special. In particular, talented Pearson managers gather every year from around the world for a meeting which, among other issues, is also an opportunity to explain the history of the business. This in turn helps people understand and appreciate Pearson's culture and values – and it's an inspiring, instructive story.

Getting the best from talented people (or most people) is best achieved by giving people work which ...

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