Michael Bungay Stanier on Do More Great Work, Part 5

In his book, Do More Great Work.: Stop the Busywork, and Start the Work that Matters, Michael Bungay Stanier shares his inspiration and techniques to help us do more work that matters.

These are some of my favorite takeaways from reading the book.

Map 4 Who’s Great

Tapping the power of role models can encourage and pull us forward to the same standard of whatever they embody.

Michael suggests we consider the following steps when identifying heroes and their best work.

  1. Think of eight heroes, role models we think are inspiring for one reason or other.
  2. Role models do not have to be people as long as they resonate with us.
  3. Narrow that list to five.
  4. For each hero, list four of the characteristics that are so inspiring to us.

As we work through the list, we want to gain insights from the following:

  • Looking for patterns in our lineup of role models. Recurring themes or words can give clues about what we believe is essential and where the seeds of our Great Work might lie.
  • When we are feeling discombobulated and unsure of our next move, bring one of our role models to mind and ask:
    • How would [hero] behave right now?
    • What would [hero] do?

To take the hero concept even further, we should:

  1. Know that we are role models to others.
  2. Turn up the volume! Choose a characteristic that one of our heroes embodies.
  3. Build a picture montage of role models.

We want to answer the following questions by expanding and cementing the insights offered by the exercise.

  • What was most powerful about listing our heroes?
  • Who surprised us by showing up on our list? What surprised us?
  • What characteristic showed up that we have and that we take for granted?
  • What is become more precise about who we are and whom we want to be?