Just Enough: Tools for Creating Success in Your Work and Life

Overview

Success is clearly about more than making money, but it’s also not just about happiness. You can have wealth and pleasure and still feel dissatisfied on many fronts. What, then, is real success and what does it take to achieve it in lasting terms that benefit you and others? How do you prepare your children and your business to succeed on the goals they most deeply value and have a reasonable chance of obtaining?

Just Enough argues that these questions have a new urgency today. ...

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Just Enough: Tools for Creating Success in Your Work and Life

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Overview

Success is clearly about more than making money, but it’s also not just about happiness. You can have wealth and pleasure and still feel dissatisfied on many fronts. What, then, is real success and what does it take to achieve it in lasting terms that benefit you and others? How do you prepare your children and your business to succeed on the goals they most deeply value and have a reasonable chance of obtaining?

Just Enough argues that these questions have a new urgency today. People are caught up in success approaches that seem to never quite keep up with all the moving targets around them.

Dissatisfied and confused, they want something more from success, but don’t know how to go about it. They become stressed out, indecisive, or even detached from their own values and talents.

In a thought-provoking examination of high achievers in business and other professions, authors Nash and Stevenson argue that the single greatest cause of today’s success frustration can be traced to the failure to understand that real success requires skill in the art of complex decision-making about noncomparable goals. Many success advisories tell you how to go after one big thing, and many organizations mistakenly try to motivate success on these terms. Drawing on new in-depth interviews, hundreds of case studies, and a survey of top executives, the authors conclude that even for the most driven, success is really measured on four distinct, irreducible categories representing conflicting human needs: happiness, achievement, significance, and legacy. Unless you know how to "score" in each category repeatedly in every aspect of your life–family, work, and community–you aren’t really going after a success that will feel worthwhile and lasting.

Just Enough presents a powerful framework for identifying and distinguishing the most important definers of success in your life and your business. It advances a step-by-step "kaleidoscope strategy" for addressing each of your goals in a way that doesn’t shortchange the others. This process is not a formula for getting you everything you wish from one goal. It’s about learning how to sort and scale and switch your energies to focus the right skills and perspectives on each of the four categories of success sequentially. With this diagnostic you can calibrate your activities to do just enough for today and for the future. You don’t continue to waste your energies focusing on one thing until you hit a wall of dissatisfaction. It’s a critical tool not only for individuals, but also for businesses seeking to achieve lasting greatness.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"the best of this crop of books." (The New York Times, April 11, 2004)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471458364
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/20/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 8.16 (w) x 7.94 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

LAURA NASH is a Senior Research Fellow at Harvard Business School. She is a leading authority in the field of business ethics and has written many books on the subject, including Good Intentions Aside and Church on Sunday, Work on Monday.

HOWARD STEVENSON is Sarofim-Rock Professor of Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean for External Relations at Harvard Business School. He is the author or coauthor of six books and his papers have appeared in such publications as Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, Journal of Business Strategy, and Strategic Management Journal, among others.

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Table of Contents

Preface.

Acknowledgments.

PART ONE: MOVING TARGETS.

1. Stress! Excess! Success?

2. The Dangers of Going for the Max.

3. The Satisfactions of Just Enough Success.

PART TWO: THE KALEIDOSCOPE STRATEGY.

4. Your Success Profile.

5. Who Are You? And Why Are You Doing That?

6. Complex Patterns in Real Life.

PART THREE: JUST ENOUGH.

7. Making Successful Choices.

8. Further Calibrations of Enough.

9. Just Enough for a Lifetime.

Epilogue.

Notes.

About the Authors.

Index.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2005

    When is 'just enough' enough?

    Everyone wants to succeed. But in a world where corporate CEOs carve out multimillion dollar contracts and Britney Spears is front-page news, society¿s view of success is entirely skewed. Authors and Harvard faculty members Laura Nash and Howard Stevenson take a hard look at idealized celebrity success and adopt a view that is the opposite of the popular attitude that promotes going for the maximum. Instead, they advocate learning how to be satisfied with 'just enough.' Through careful self-examination and structured fulfillment exercises, the authors explain how to obtain success in four main areas of your personal and professional life: happiness, achievement, satisfaction and legacy. Ironically, for a book titled `Just Enough,¿ it supplies way too much verbiage and analysis. But we find the topic timely and well researched. Those who are striving for balance and just the right amount of success will find this self-help book extremely useful, although those who deeply want it all may be tougher to dissuade.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2005

    A difficult but worthwhile journey of self reflection

    I received the book as a gift. Initially, i perceived it as a 'tough' read, but only after you reflect on the power of what is being offered, it began to made sense to me. I identified myself with 'Jane', one of the main characters profiled in the book, focused primarily on career achievements. The book introduces the concept of 'there is more to life' than success in the workplace and that resonated deeply with me. The book makes you stop and think about how fulfilling your life is, where you place priorities, how fast you can move between different aspects of your life. It teaches about the value of 'having enough' and 'Being enough' at a time where we are told 'we can be anything and everything we want to be'. Thank you for this awesome exercise in self-reflection.

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