A reading club with a view to the future

336 Morten Hansen: Great at work

Uncover the key strategies and practices that enable individuals to excel and achieve outstanding performance in their work.



In "Great at Work," Morten Hansen presents a groundbreaking exploration of what it takes to excel and achieve exceptional performance in the workplace. Through extensive research and analysis, Hansen debunks common myths and provides practical insights into the strategies and practices that truly make a difference. The book identifies the key principles and behaviors that enable individuals to work smarter, rather than harder, leading to increased productivity and success. Drawing on real-world examples and case studies, Hansen unveils the seven work smart practices that are essential for driving remarkable performance. From prioritizing work tasks effectively to mastering the art of collaboration, "Great at Work" offers actionable advice for individuals at all levels who aspire to achieve greatness in their professional lives. By implementing the proven strategies outlined in this book, readers can enhance their performance, achieve outstanding results, and create a fulfilling and successful career.


Title: "Great at Work"

Author: Morten Hansen

Publishing Year: 2018

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Length in hours: 7 hours and 33 minutes

5 main ideas

  1. The power of focus: Learn how to identify and concentrate on the few high-impact tasks that truly drive results, enabling you to accomplish more in less time.
  2. Mastering your passion: Discover how to align your passions with your work to tap into your intrinsic motivation and fuel your performance and engagement.
  3. Continuous learning: Embrace a growth mindset and cultivate a commitment to continuous learning and improvement, expanding your knowledge and skills over time.
  4. Collaborative excellence: Develop strong collaboration skills and leverage the power of collective intelligence to accomplish complex tasks and solve challenging problems.
  5. Prioritizing for value: Understand the importance of prioritization based on value creation rather than mere busyness, allowing you to focus your efforts on the most impactful activities.

5 funny quotes

  1. "Being great at work doesn't mean you have to be a workaholic. It's about finding that sweet spot between productivity and enjoying a good cup of coffee."
  2. "If work were a sport, it would be the decathlon. It's not just about excelling in one event; it's about mastering multiple skills and disciplines."
  3. "Remember, it's called 'work' not 'fun,' but that doesn't mean you can't find joy and fulfillment in what you do. Find your work-life harmony."
  4. "Coffee might be the fuel that keeps you going, but don't forget to take breaks and recharge. Greatness needs a well-rested mind and body."
  5. "In the pursuit of greatness, don't forget to celebrate the small victories. Treat yourself to a cookie or a dance party every now and then.

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "Working hard is not enough; you must also work smart. It's about doing the right things with the right focus and intensity."
  2. "Focus on your strengths, but also be willing to acquire new skills and knowledge. Continuous learning is the key to staying great at work."
  3. "Collaboration is not just about teamwork; it's about harnessing the collective intelligence and diverse perspectives to achieve outstanding results."
  4. "Don't mistake busyness for productivity. Prioritize your tasks based on value creation and impact to make the most of your time and effort."
  5. "Passion is not enough; it must be combined with disciplined practice and deliberate improvement to achieve greatness in your work."

5 dilemmas

  1. Quality vs. Quantity: Balancing the desire to produce high-quality work with the pressure to meet deadlines and deliver results within tight timeframes.
  2. Specialization vs. Generalization: Deciding whether to focus deeply on a specific area of expertise or develop a broader skill set to adapt to changing demands in the workplace.
  3. Autonomy vs. Collaboration: Navigating the tension between wanting autonomy and independence in work tasks and recognizing the value of collaboration and teamwork for achieving greater results.
  4. Efficiency vs. Effectiveness: Weighing the trade-off between completing tasks quickly and efficiently versus taking the time to plan and execute them in a way that maximizes their impact and long-term value.
  5. Work-Life Balance: Finding the right balance between dedicating time and energy to work and maintaining a fulfilling personal life, while avoiding burnout and prioritizing well-being.

5 examples

  1. Google's 20% Time: Explore how Google encourages employees to spend 20% of their time on passion projects, leading to innovative breakthroughs.
  2. The Mayo Clinic: Discover how the Mayo Clinic's collaborative approach and emphasis on knowledge sharing have revolutionized healthcare practices.
  3. Procter & Gamble's Connect + Develop: Learn how Procter & Gamble leverages external partnerships and open innovation to drive product development and growth.
  4. Netflix's Culture of Freedom and Responsibility: Uncover how Netflix's unique culture empowers employees and fosters a sense of ownership and accountability.
  5. The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team: Examine how the team's dedication, collaboration, and relentless pursuit of excellence have propelled them to multiple World Cup victories.

Referenced books

  1. "Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World" by Cal Newport
  2. "Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us" by Daniel H. Pink
  3. "Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise" by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool
  4. "Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World" by Adam Grant
  5. "Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman

Share a quote

"In the pursuit of greatness, don't forget to celebrate the small victories. Treat yourself to a cookie or a dance party every now and then."

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