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Publisher's Summary

What motivates employees? As a manager, you need to know why people come to work every day, what makes them stay - and what drives them to perform at their best. According to Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer, the best leaders are able to build a cadre of employees who have satisfying inner work lives: consistently positive emotions; strong motivation; and favorable perceptions of the organization, their work, and their colleagues. To do this, you must create forward momentum in meaningful work - and steer clear of the obstacles that undermine inner work life.

Through rigorous analysis of nearly 12,000 diary entries provided by hundreds of employees in several different organizations, Amabile and Kramer explain how you can foster progress and enhance your people’s inner work life every day - in the process boosting long-term creative productivity. The book shows how you can remove common barriers to progress, such as meaningless tasks and toxic relationships, and emphasizes how these factors can disrupt employees’ inner work lives.

The Progress Principle also explains how you can activate two forces that enable progress: “catalysts” - events that directly facilitate project work, such as clear goals and autonomy; and “nourishers” - interpersonal events that uplift workers, including encouragement and demonstrations of respect and collegiality.

Filled with honest, real-life examples, compelling insights, and practical advice, The Progress Principle equips aspiring and seasoned leaders alike with the guidance they need to maximize people’s performance.

©2011 Teresa M. Amabile and Steven J. Kramer (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

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  • M. DEVINNEY
  • 26-06-2012

Soft skills do translate into hard dollars!

I would recommend this to anyone looking for ways to improve their team's (or even their own) performance. The first step to getting the ball rolling in maximizing performance and creativity is to recognize that there is an important metric to keep track of your "inner work life". This is essentially the song that you hear in your head as you think about your work and those you work with that amplifies or attenuates performance and creativity levels. In addition to the explanations of the methodology and descriptions of the work environments surveyed, there is some really practical advice for motivating your team and yourself to perform at the highest levels possible.

4 people found this helpful

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  • NSchmitz
  • 08-08-2017

should have read, not listened to, this one

An interesting topic that was presented rather dryly with repeated statements. I think reading the book would have been better than trying to listen to it. consistent reference to the research process and frequent in the next chapter comments.

1 person found this helpful

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  • R Kitchen
  • 12-04-2021

Interesting data - impenetrable illustrations

Great survey data shared, which could have been useful - but the illustrations about endless companies and individuals were impossible to follow, and really uninspiring. Didn’t quite make it to the end as a result.

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  • Tracy
  • 11-04-2021

Greater understanding

I had read this book and liked it, and when I saw it on my list for a possible audiobook I decided to grab it. It gave me a deeper understanding by listening to the book this time. I highly recommend it.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-02-2021

Great to have data to back up good practices

The performance got in the way. Sounded condescending and rigid. Great to have data to back up good respectful practices that one would seem to be self evident.

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  • Mike G
  • 25-09-2020

Pretty good, but I felt it was longer than needed

I wanted to love this book, but I struggled with it. The main point is solid, albeit pretty simple (the authors admit as much). At times I got really bored and struggled to follow who was who in all the stories, especially because they anonymized the company names.

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  • keepthefaith
  • 08-09-2019

Phenomenal Content

Read several books while learning about motivation at work. This was by far the deepest and best organized of all my research. I hope that I can find a way to share this information with my entire management team.

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  • Nina
  • 24-09-2018

Suitable for high level managers

The book content is not really matching the title. Great book but not about how small wins can make you happy.... it’s all case studies regarding how small changes in management’s behavior can cause happiness in employees and make them to work harder.
It’s a useful book if you are a CEO or a very high level manager.

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  • Jennifer
  • 14-03-2018

Met Expectations

The data and the book met my expectations regarding tips and tools to build a more productive and healthier team (as well as internal productivity and health.)
I did find it less enjoyable to listen to fake names and a fake company (okay real people and a real company with the names replaced). I am now so accustomed to books transparently digging into companies it felt very "college course" a d I became less engaged. Further, and oddly, I feel the narrator changed her tone when reasons a woman's journal entry to sound whiney and complaining. When reading a similar man's journal entry her tone was changed to sound forthright and direct. it was off putting.

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  • FitFemale
  • 13-01-2018

A Must For Any Leader

This book was a game-changer for me. Providing scientific validation to my instincts & a roadmap for best practices. Highly recommended!

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  • Shayne
  • 07-06-2017

Essential reading for people managers

Blows the lid off old skool tough management styles and how ineffective they really are. If you want to manage people well, read this.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mrs K A Ward
  • 07-11-2020

Engaging clear helpful idea

Every manager should consider this idea, would likely make more productive happier work environments.
If you get over the slight lack of modesty relating to their research (how much better it is compared to those who have gone before) then you will find some gold here.

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  • Andrew Ebling
  • 30-10-2020

Absolutely exceptional insight

I have a hunch this book will turn out to be one of the most influential business and work life related books I have read or listened to - absolutely exceptional insight and I shall be sharing it with anyone who will listen.

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  • Simon Minett
  • 09-09-2019

too long and repetitive

I kept hoping for fresh insight and all i received was repetition of a few basic concepts - backed up with endless comments from research - could be summarised to a fraction of it' length - I couldn't finish it - and that's rare

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 03-05-2018

Great research, average book

Teresa Amabile is one of the best researchers in the field of workplace creativity, yet this book seems not to convey that. The balance of the book is skewed towards the stories from the journals, which makes it a bit of a tedious read. Nothing new beyond the HBR article she wrote based on the same, groundbreaking research.

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