Book Review: It’s Called Work For a Reason


Larry Winget's book It's Called Work For a Reason: Your Success Is Your Own Damn Fault is one of the most unique business books I have ever read. The gist of the book is that stuff doesn't get done at your office because people aren't working, they are goofing off. Larry has some harsh words, and if you read this book you will either love it or hate it. He starts off by ranting about how many business books he has read that are useless, and how people make all kinds of excuses instead of just getting stuff done.

Here are some samples of Larry's wisdom:

  • Results are everything. You aren't paid to work hard, you are paid to get results.
  • Don't whine. Whining about a problem only prolongs it.
  • You aren't paid to like your job, you are paid to do your job (although liking it does help)
  • Discover your uniqueness and learn how to exploit it in the service of others
  • Praise in public, criticize in private

Later in the book, Winget gets even more controversial in his chapter entitled "Teamwork Doesn't Work." His theory is that someone on the team won't work, and the others will have to pick up the slack, which just makes them bitter. He constantly jabs at the reader with points like this:

It's never about the team, it is always about the I. People want individual recognition and couldn't care less about the team. And if you honestly don't agree with that, then I know exactly what kind of an employee you are. You are a mediocre performer who likes to hide among the many insted of being recognized for your individual talents, because you don't have many individual talents.

He suggests that instead of teams, you create groups of superstar individuals who are very good at what they do, and are working towards a common goal.

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The book is filled with very funny stories and lots of great anecdotes from Larry's past. I can pretty much guarantee that if you read this book, some part will offend you or violate one of your core business beliefs. But that's exactly the reason you should give it a chance. It's always good to have your beliefs challenged a bit. You can find out more about Larry at his website, which he should update to look less like an infomercial.

  • Jon

    The book sounds interesting enough, thanks for the review!

    It may feel weird taking advice from a guy who’s screen name is most likely “BusinessRocker”, but what are appearances, eh?

    His website, however, does not only scream infomercial and cheap, it’s also confusing. But then the book is not about web design or taste, is it.