I read a blog review of Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson's new book, REWORK, that induced me to order it and read it as soon as I could get to it (which was almost immediately). I'm glad I did.

It has been so well-hyped recently that my expectations were quite high (for crying out loud, Seth Godin's cover line says, "Ignore this book at your own peril!"). I'm not sure it's that big a deal, but it is well worth reading.

The authors promise "a better, easier way to succeed in business." They turn conventional wisdom on its head in short, entertaining, convincing chapters. While not every chapter is inspirational (or even new), most are shot through with common--and sometimes uncommon--sense. Some of my favorite chapters were:
  • Workaholism ("Workaholics wind up creating more problems than they solve")
  • Ignore the details early on
  • Meetings are toxic
  • Say no by default
  • Let your customers outgrow you
  • Drug dealers get it right
  • Forget about formal education
Get the idea? If not, here's an excerpt from "Say no by default":
Don't believe that "customer is always right" stuff....Let's say you're a chef. If enough of your customers say your food is too salty or hot, you change it. But if a few persnickety patrons tell you to add bananas to your lasagna, you're going to turn them down, and that's OK. Making a few vocal customers happy isn't worth it if it ruins the product for everyone else (pp. 153-154).
And from "What does 5 years experience mean anyway?":
We've all seen job ads that say, "Five years of experience required." That may give you a number, but it tells you nothing. Of course, requiring some baseline level of experience can be a good idea when hiring....But after that, the curve flattens out. There's surprisingly little difference between a candidate with six months of experience and one with six years. The real difference comes from the individual's dedication, personality, and intelligence (p. 213).
As you might guess (since I'm reviewing this book on this blog), much of what they write has application to ministry and churches, especially the chapters, "Workaholism," "Make a dent in the universe," "Draw a line in the sand," "Making the call is making progress," "Be a curator," Meetings are toxic," "Put everyone on the front lines," and--shoot, too many to mention, I guess. But you get the idea.

In short, despite the authors' claim that "ASAP is poison," I would recommend reading this book, and reading it...ASAP.

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