Perform Like a Rock Star (Book Review)

how to perform like a rockstarWith my affinity for using “rock” as a verb, you just know I would love reading the book Perform Like a Rock Star (and still have time for lunch) by Orna Drawas. Receiving this book from my friends at the Cadence Group couldn’t have happened at a better time, because my new HR job is requiring me to work smarter (and harder) than ever before. Where it fits, I added the page numbers below to help you find the good stuff.

Some of the highlights

  • CEOs rate the top two qualities they say will help someone advance in their career quickly as:
  • 1) the ability to separate the relevant from the irrelevant
  • 2) the ability to get the job done quickly
  • Don’t prioritize your schedule. Schedule time for your priorities. And make sure it’s during your golden hour.
  • Inbox zero (for your life)-Commit to using a list. Really using it. Anything that will take longer than two minutes to complete gets added onto the list. While it may seem urgent at the time, adding it to the list and then comparing priorities might shine the light on some false urgency. (p77)
  • You will achieve greater results if you move three things a mile than 100 things an inch. (p84)
  • Chapter 9 is all about interruptions to your workday and how to get around them. Yes, including Bob the Blabber and Suzy the Sharer. I basically highlighted every word of this section.
  • Delegate the result; the process is none of your business. Unless you want to be an expert on everything, delegate when necessary and then leave it alone. (p117)
  • People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything. -Thomas Sowell- (a-freaking-men!)
  • Chapter 12 is all about meetings, running them, and making them useful. Again, this one is short but really, really powerful.
  • We all use “to do” lists at times. The author emphasizes using an “action” list instead. It accomplishes two things:
    • Short, actionable items (not big, nebulous ideas)
    • Each item has an estimated time attached, which clarifies your schedule and helps to fit things in when you have 5, 10, or 15 minutes to spare throughout the day
  • I really love the big focus on performing activities that are connected with overall business goals. Ties nicely with my assertion that HR needs to know the business to be most effective.

My favorite part

One thing the book mentions several times is what the author calls “The Rule of One.” It’s really just another way of saying, “Take it one day at a time,” but she makes it sound so much more powerful. Think of it this way, if you have this big, monster goal you’d like to achieve in the next five years, you could wait around and realize that your time had flown by, or you could do one small thing a day for five or ten minutes.

Now imagine the progress you’d make if you did that five days a week all year long. It’s astounding to think that with that kind of focused intensity, you could do virtually anything.

Another neat idea that occurred to me while writing this review is what if you had a small team sharing that same goal? There is no way of knowing what could be accomplished in that situation. You could create another unconventionally successful company like Zappos.

Why you need to get it

We’ve all read books like this before. You get all fired up to change things and everyone else pulls you back into your old habits of work. This book has a unique piece to it that helps to combat that ubiquitous issue.

The last section of the book is dedicated to implementation within your organization. That makes it worth twice as much as you pay for it. It’s not all fluffy ideas and unicorns. It has solid information and some good tips for making it stick with coworkers, managers, peers, and subordinates.

Get your copy of the book today. It’s a great read and everyone could learn something about working smarter!

Check out other book reviews here.

9 thoughts on “Perform Like a Rock Star (Book Review)

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  2. Kris

    Thanks for sharing, Ben. Our team is doing some work around time management next week so I will definitely pick up this book before then!

  3. Orna Drawas

    Thanks for the shout-out on the book. You hit on the most powerful point of all…. DO JUST ONE THING every day towards reaching your Big Audacious Goal and you will be amazed at the momentum you pick up towards achieving it!

  4. Jacqui Poindexter, Executive Resume Writer

    Hi Ben,
    Another book I’d like to dive into, but in the meantime, you summarized the salient points! ; )

    I have a kinship with wanting to work smarter (not harder); albeit, sometimes it’s both smart and hard to do! (laughing)

    Bottom line, it’s about continually assessing and refitting actions to goals, and as you described, “scheduling time for priorities.” I recently blogged about eradicating career clutter, weaving in my own journey with melding life and work, in my effort to share my learnings with others. So, your piece here resonated and furthered my own thinking on the matter of a higher-performing (and more quality-focused) career and personal lifestyle – some good reminders, as well!

    Another point that really sticks is : Delegate the results; the process is none of your business! As well, you summarized well the idea of being aware of how our activities and actions tie to overall business goals. By doing so, we can gain the momentum and clarity needed to grow and evolve and sustain within a changing world, economy, marketplace, etc.

    Thanks for this great book review!

  5. Ben Post author

    @Krista Sweet! Time management sounds so BLAH to me, but this book really helped me to see farther than simple time mgt. Definitely get a copy!
    @Orna You. Rock. That is all. :-)
    @Jacqui Thanks a LOT for the comment and for the Twitter feedback. Now I know why Alicia is good friends with you! ;-)

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