Book Review of The Progress Principle.

Today’s one page book review is of the book The Progress Principle by Teresa Amabile and Steven J. Kramer.  We will talk about the book, the best lessons I got from it and how it applies for real estate investors and business builders.  These one-page book reviews take 90% of a book and condense it into just a few paragraphs.   

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Now for today’s class on The Progress Principle book review… book review The Progress Principle
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Book Review:

The Progress Principle

Using small wins to ignite joy, engagement and creativity at work.

You can download the above guide by clicking HERE.

Lesson: Create a HOOK With Meaning

“How could other companies possibly aspire to Google’s double nirvana of business success and employee delight? Our research shows how. And the secret is not free food or athletic facilities. The secret is creating the conditions for great inner work life—the conditions that foster positive emotions, strong internal motivation, and favorable perceptions of colleagues and the work itself. The secret to amazing performance is empowering talented people to succeed at meaningful work….

… Great inner work life is about the work, not the accoutrements. It starts with giving people something meaningful to accomplish, like Google’s mission ‘to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.’ It requires giving clear goals, autonomy, help, and resources—what people need to make real progress in their daily work. And it depends on showing respect for ideas and the people who create them….

… This book reveals just what that means—for any enterprise. We have written the book for leaders and aspiring leaders curious about inner work life and what they can do, day by day, to support the kind of inner work life that leads to extraordinary performance—an inner work life marked by joy, deep engagement in the work, and a drive for creativity.” 

My one sentence summary:

How to get the best performance out of your people by focusing on inner work life – deep, meaningful purpose from their work.  Director of Research at Harvard, Azam’s old job. – Badass Stuff…

Lesson: 95% of managers were DEAD WRONG

“As inner work life goes, so goes the company. We discovered that people are more creative and productive when they are deeply engaged in the work, when they feel happy, and when they think highly of their projects, coworkers, managers, and organizations. But there’s more. When people enjoy consistently positive inner work lives, they are also more committed to their work and more likely to work well with colleagues. 

In other words, work-related psychological benefits for employees translate into performance benefits for the company. Conventional management wisdom is way off track about employee psychology. When we surveyed hundreds of managers around the world, ranging from CEOs to project leaders, about what motivates employees, we found startling results: 95 percent of these leaders fundamentally misunderstood the most important source of motivation. Our research inside companies revealed that the best way to motivate people, day in and day out, is by facilitating progress— even small wins. Nothing boosts inner work life like progress. But the managers in our survey ranked ‘supporting progress’ dead last as a work motivator.”

Lesson: Categorize Causes

“Progress and setbacks are the most important triggers, but they aren’t the only events that make a difference between sweet and sour inner work life. Other everyday events at work play important roles. Besides progress and setbacks, we discovered two additional categories of events that also turned out to be differentiators. We refer to them as factors, rather than principles, because they are not as prominent as progress and setbacks; nonetheless, all three exert important influences on inner work life…

… Just as setbacks are the opposite of progress, inhibitors are the opposites of catalysts, and toxins are the opposite of nourishers (nourishment factor). These negative actions include failing to support the project or the person, as well as actively hindering the project or disrespecting the person in some way. The lesson? To boost your own inner work life as a manager, be sure to provide your people with the catalysts and the nourishers they need to make progress every day, and buffer them from inhibitors and toxins as much as possible. That way, you’ll make progress in your own managerial work, setting up your own positive progress loop…

Across all the teams we studied, when people found someone reaching out to offer them nourishers, their inner work lives blossomed—which increased the odds that they would make progress in their work. The primary way in which nourishers fuel inner work life and progress is by infusing the work with greater meaning. When we care about the people we work with, we want to succeed for them. When our colleagues become a kind of family to us, work can take on new meaning in our lives. Human connections really can inspire people to ‘go the extra mile for the team.’ Creativity and productivity result.”

Lesson: Enjoy the Accumulation

“Progress and inner work life feed each other. Mathematician Norbert Wiener called this sort of interaction a positive feedback loop or ‘cumulative causation.’ Progress enhances inner work life (the progress principle) and positive inner work life leads to further progress (the inner work life effect), creating a virtuous cycle. 

The loop can operate as a vicious cycle as well. Just as inner work life and progress improve in tandem, when one goes downhill, so does the other. To harness this powerful force, you must ensure that consistent forward movement in meaningful work is a regular occurrence in your employees’ daily work lives, despite the inevitable setbacks that all nontrivial work entails.”

(Win Spiral, Domino 57, Addiction/Gamify)


“Sometimes the smallest things can make the biggest difference. In his 2009 book, The Checklist Manifesto, Harvard surgeon and author Atul Gawande showed that even experienced surgeons can improve the performance of their teams dramatically by using a simple checklist to guide every single operation. 

The items on the safe surgery checklist seem terribly mundane. They include procedures like self-introductions by everyone on the surgical team, confirming that everyone knows which side of the body is being operated on, and counting the surgical sponges to see that all are removed from the patient before closing the incision. 

The results are astonishing. In a three-month experiment in eight different hospitals around the world, the rate of serious complications for surgical patients fell by 36 percent after introduction of the checklist, and deaths fell by 47 percent. Even Gawande himself, a highly trained surgeon with years of operating experience, found that his own performance improved notably after he started using the checklist. His point is that surgery, like any complex task, requires a regular check of all the fundamentals—to liberate the team to focus on the work and any unexpected circumstances that may arise.”

That’s it for now.


You can download the above guide by clicking HERE.

Thanks!  = )

~ Indy Anna

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100 FREE ways to find motivated sellers.

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