Do More Great Work

Emma De Vita learns management lessons from Canadian guru Michael Bungay Stanier and Spinal Tap

"Stop the busy work and start the work that matters," writes Canadian author Michael Bungay Stanier in his forthcoming book Do More Great Work.

Stanier is a coach, so his relentless enthusiasm should come as no surprise. He wants you to engage and stretch yourself in your work, to increase your personal contribution to your organisation and to play to your strengths - this is the essence of what he terms "great work".

Stanier helps you on your path to "great work" with the aid of 15 tools. He also calls them maps. The best bit of the book is Map 11, "How Courageous Are You?", largely because Stanier makes reference to the well-known rock mockumentary This is Spinal Tap. Lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel shows off his amp, whose volume control goes past 10 to 11. "When we need that extra push over the cliff, we put it up to 11," boasts Tufnel.

As a third sector manager, don't be afraid to sprinkle some of the Spinal Tap magic over your work. Take bold decisions if you think it will improve how your team works; don't be afraid to speak up when you disagree with your boss; and encourage your team to be brave. Rock on!

- Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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