Getting Things Done When You Are Not in Charge 2nd Edition

Geoffrey Bellman (Author)

Publication date: 09/09/2001

Bestseller over 130,000+ copies sold

Getting Things Done When You Are Not in Charge
  • New edition of an international bestseller-over 100,000 copies sold-streamlined and updated with new material
  • Offers practical, straightforward advice that people at all levels can use to be more effective in their daily work and life
  • Bellman's informal writing style and long experience combine to create a book that is as fun to read as it is practical to use.

New edition of an international bestseller-over 100,000 copies sold-streamlined and updated with new material

Offers practical, straightforward advice that people at all levels can use to be more effective in their daily work and life

Bellman's informal writing style and long experience combine to create a book that is as fun to read as it is practical to use.

You are not in charge and you want to make a difference: that is the dilemma. You may not know who is in charge in today's changing, temporary, and virtual organizations, but you know you are not! You are searching for ways to contribute through the work you do and gain some personal satisfaction in the process. This book can help you do just that.

In this new edition of his classic book, Geoff Bellman shows readers how to make things happen in any organization regardless of their formal position. The new edition has been written for a wider audience, including people in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors, paid and volunteer workers, managers and individual contributors, contract and freelance workers. More than seventy percent of the material is brand new, including new examples, new chapters, new exercises, and much more.

Bellman shows how to use his "Getting Things Done" model to accomplish great things right now, right where you are. Getting Things Done When You Are Not In Charge offers proven, practical techniques for

* Enlisting key people in your cause
* Gaining the support of decision-makers for initiating change
* Making a greater impact on the organization
* Taking the right risks at the right time with the right people
* Creating rewards for yourself through the work you do
* Dealing with organizational politics and power, and
* Getting more of what you want out of your work life.

Bellman offers straightforward methods that can increase your organizational effectiveness and your individual happiness. Getting Things Done When You Are Not In Charge will help you discover new ways to contribute and succeed.

  • New edition of an international bestseller-over 100,000 copies sold-streamlined and updated with new material
  • Offers practical, straightforward advice that people at all levels can use to be more effective in their daily work and life
  • Bellman's informal writing style and long experience combine to create a book that is as fun to read as it is practical to use.

Read more and meet author below

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Overview

  • New edition of an international bestseller-over 100,000 copies sold-streamlined and updated with new material
  • Offers practical, straightforward advice that people at all levels can use to be more effective in their daily work and life
  • Bellman's informal writing style and long experience combine to create a book that is as fun to read as it is practical to use.

New edition of an international bestseller-over 100,000 copies sold-streamlined and updated with new material

Offers practical, straightforward advice that people at all levels can use to be more effective in their daily work and life

Bellman's informal writing style and long experience combine to create a book that is as fun to read as it is practical to use.

You are not in charge and you want to make a difference: that is the dilemma. You may not know who is in charge in today's changing, temporary, and virtual organizations, but you know you are not! You are searching for ways to contribute through the work you do and gain some personal satisfaction in the process. This book can help you do just that.

In this new edition of his classic book, Geoff Bellman shows readers how to make things happen in any organization regardless of their formal position. The new edition has been written for a wider audience, including people in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors, paid and volunteer workers, managers and individual contributors, contract and freelance workers. More than seventy percent of the material is brand new, including new examples, new chapters, new exercises, and much more.

Bellman shows how to use his "Getting Things Done" model to accomplish great things right now, right where you are. Getting Things Done When You Are Not In Charge offers proven, practical techniques for

* Enlisting key people in your cause
* Gaining the support of decision-makers for initiating change
* Making a greater impact on the organization
* Taking the right risks at the right time with the right people
* Creating rewards for yourself through the work you do
* Dealing with organizational politics and power, and
* Getting more of what you want out of your work life.

Bellman offers straightforward methods that can increase your organizational effectiveness and your individual happiness. Getting Things Done When You Are Not In Charge will help you discover new ways to contribute and succeed.

  • New edition of an international bestseller-over 100,000 copies sold-streamlined and updated with new material
  • Offers practical, straightforward advice that people at all levels can use to be more effective in their daily work and life
  • Bellman's informal writing style and long experience combine to create a book that is as fun to read as it is practical to use.

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Geoffrey Bellman

Geoffrey M. Bellman spent the first fourteen years of his career on the inside of three Fortune 500 companies (Ideal Basic Industries, AMOCO Corporation, and G.D. Searle). Now, as an organizational consultant, he works with corporations on the effective use of human talent as they undertake major change. In this capacity, he has worked with more than 100 corporations, including GTE, TRW, and Shell Oil.

He is the author of Getting Things Done When You Are Not in Charge, Your Signature Path, The Consultants' Calling, and The Quest for Staff Leadership, which won the National Book Award of the Society for Human Resource Management.

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Table of Contents



Introduction:
-The grand illusion: someone is in charge
-The need to succeed through others
-The getting things done model

Part I

Chapter 1. Wants: Pursuing Meaning at Work
Chapter 2. Reality: Testing for the Truth
Chapter 3. People: Enlisting Others' Help
Chapter 4. You: Discovering Your Talents


Part II

Chapter 5. Pursuing Life at Work: You & Wants
Chapter 6. Finding the Shared Truth: You & Reality
Chapter 7. Creating Partnership: You & People
Chapter 8. Building Creative Tension
Chapter 9. Close: An Action List for Leading Change

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Excerpt

Getting Things Done When You Are Not In Charge

INTRODUCTION

You Are Not In Charge


We succeed by helping others succeed; our accomplishment is dependent on theirs. In our more expansive moments, we might say that we make them successful. In their more generous moments, they might say that they couldn’t do it without us. We are often in-between, wondering how best to contribute and how much difference we make. Some of us get trapped “on hold,” waiting for the authority, waiting for others to tell us what to do. That does not work.

Our only chance for contributing is to quit waiting and wondering and do something. We serve ourselves and others best when we do not wait. Initiate, with the organization and all involved people in mind. No, we are not in charge but we can act. No, we are not formally designated leaders, but we can lead. This book will help you think of yourself as a leader, as someone who helps an organization, its people, and resources move in new directions. Yes, right from where you are, not waiting until you’ve moved into a more powerful position. Whether you are an individual contributor, a middle manager, a school principal, or a precinct chair, there is much you can do from your position right there in the middle of things. Whether you are an entering programmer, a journeyman mechanic, a PTA parent, or a social worker, you can choose to lead others. And, the first step in leading others at work is leading your own life.



The Illusion: Someone Is in Charge

Many of us grew up with the expectation that someone will watch over us, take care of us, be “in charge,” “know best,” and that this will turn out okay. Our families, schools, communities, and organizations taught us to believe this, but their teachings began to fray pretty early, usually before we became adults. Our contradictory experience confused us; we saw people “in charge” producing very mixed results. The people in position to “do what’s best” disappointed us. Programs they created, decisions they made, did not turn out okay—at least not for us and what we wanted out of our lives. We discovered that they would not watch over us. An extremely hard part of this learning is not our disappointment in them but our struggles with our own responsibility: If they are not in charge, who is? If I cannot count on them, who can I count on? What is my responsibility in helping my family, my community, my employer, or this world? What can I, what will I, do with my life? These are the big questions lurking behind the work questions we struggle with daily.

You may be thinking, “But someday I will be in charge of that committee (or agency or division or team) and I will change things!” Well, think again. That’s akin to getting married with the plan to start changing your spouse immediately after the ceremony. My research says that does not work very well. I have often heard executives lament about their difficulties in getting things done. When the president of a telecommunications company (with 23,000 employees across five states and nine hierarchical levels) first saw this book, he said “Finally, a book written for me!” His employees may not see him as not in charge, but he frequently feels that way. He knows the limitations of authority. It is too easy for us to attribute power to a position that we have yet to hold, or that others hold, and to diminish the power we currently have. This book works with the powers we now hold.



The Life Game

For a few minutes, imagine your life as a game with rules and goals, roles and scores. Life is much more complicated than a game, but tem- porarily imagine playing Life as you might play bridge, or Myst™, or soccer. Within this game called Life, you decide its purposes and rules. You decide the roles you will play; you decide what earns points; you keep score. Actions that move you toward your life goals earn points. Actions that move you away from your life goals lose points. You create the game of Life as you play it; you can change the rules. Unpredictable, uncontrollable, unreasonable outside forces influence Life. You are in the middle of Life now; you are playing.

That is how life works when seen through the simpler game metaphor. It is the largest of the many games we play: games like School, Parent, Politics, Citizen, Child, and Work. In this book, most of our attention will be directed at the game of Work as a subset of the game of Life—and the challenge of playing the two games while keeping Work subordinate to Life. Often, other people decide the explicit rules and goals for Work before you arrive. And you have implicitly decided the rules and goals of Life before you arrive to “play” Work. The challenge is engaging deeply with both games, and keeping Work within the larger context of Life. Five guides shape this book:

  1. Create your life game. The secret of getting things done when you are not in charge is to establish a life larger than work, in which you are more in charge than at work. Without this larger, more important life game, you will end up playing by the rules of the work game, or reacting against them with no clear sense of purpose.

  2. Learn the work game. There is a work game where you work. It has its own rules and roles, goals and penalties—whether you are aware of it or not. There are ways for people to succeed. Certain behaviors are respected; others are disparaged. Learn this. It is not a matter of liking but of understanding how this work game works.

  3. Know your position in the work game. This allows you to know where you are starting from. Again, it does not mean that you like it, but that you understand what comes with the position you have. The best starting point for changing your position, or the work game, is to know what you are starting with. Of course, if you hate your position, you should not be playing here. Which leads to. . .

  4. Recognize there are other work games. There are other places in this world of work where you could be offering your talents. All of those other places have work games of their own. Choose the work game you play, always honoring your larger life game. If your life game is not being served by this work game, then go play somewhere else. Your ultimate power in the work game comes from choosing to play here, and knowing you make that choice daily.

  5. Play well and hard at both Work and Life. Concentrate. Keep reminding yourself of what is important. Know your skills and your aspirations.

The most useful ideas in this book link back to this Life and Work game metaphor. Life direction is your source of power; options open when you see your work as a vital part of your life. Creating your life game is difficult; you are the game designer, rulemaker, player, coach, referee, scorekeeper, cheerleader, and spectator. Little wonder that we often opt to play others’ games, winning and losing under rules they have made. Others can help us figure out Life, but no one else can play Life for us. A pattern of playing others’ games usually calls us back to our own life game: What do we want to do with this life? And how might our work support that?

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Endorsements



"Anyone interested in getting ahead while still making a contribution to one's organization and working for change for the better will benefit from Bellman's realistic, practical guidance."

—Booklist

"People need to acquire the skills to influence people when they don't have authority. This book shows how it can be done."

—William C. Byham, Ph.D., President, Development Dimensions International

"Bellman debunks the myth that only people in positions of authority have power, and presents potent tools, skills, and processes that will enable you to get extraordinary things done in organizations."

—Jim Kouzes, coauthor, The Leadership Challenge

"It's refreshing to find a people's guide to leading change. Anyone who has ever battled bureaucracy or felt frustrated by unresponsive bosses will find helpful hints in Geoff Bellman's book."

—Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School

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