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1001 Ways to Take Initiative at Work
ISBN 076111405X / 9780761114055 / 0-7611-1405-X
Publisher Workman Publishing Company
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In 1001 Ways to Take Initiative at Work, Bob Nelson applies the formula behind his two previous books, 1001 Ways to Energize Employees and 1001 Ways to Reward Employees, and shows how any employee can advance his or her career by taking action, questioning authority, and thinking "outside the box." The book is filled with hundreds of stories about how workers, through simple initiatives, have made a difference at their companies--from the familiar story about the origins of Post-Its at 3M to how a Home Depot store manager helped a customer in a wheelchair. These stories are flanked by dozens of sidebars filled with short prescriptions for bettering the workplace and one's career (e.g., "Tactics for Influencing Others," "Don't Settle for Just Good Enough"). For Nelson, the key to fostering initiative is getting past the roadblocks that inhibits creativity. He cites a UCLA study that showed that by the "age five we engage in creative tasks 98 times a day, laugh 113 times, and ask questions 65 times. By the age of 44, however, the numbers shrink to 2 creative tasks a day, 11 laughs, and 6 questions." If your professional aspirations center on just getting by, then take a pass on this one. Those looking for practical career advice, however, would do well to give 1001 Ways to Take Initiative at Work a good look. --Harry C. Edwards [via]