Author: Sam Carpenter
|Work the System (2008) teaches you how to create a system for yourself. You’ll learn how to put a framework that allows you to work smarter, not harder. You’ll be able to see problems from a different perspective and solve them before they become problems at all! Work The System is a practical guide that shows readers how to leverage their current situation to create success.|
We live in a complex world of systems. And if we want to change it, we need to understand how they work and impact us. We all have systems in our lives, whether a job, a relationship or a routine. We know they’re there and influencing us in some way, but it’s hard to identify exactly what the system is doing. This is not a get-rich-quick scheme or an excuse to make up elaborate stories about aliens. These are natural systems that drive your life, shape your behavior and influence your decisions every day.
How many systems do you interact with daily? Think about how many systems you use to get from one place to another. Take the last time you were driving in your car, for example. How many traffic lights did you have to stop at? How many times did you have to sit in traffic? How often did you sit in traffic and then drive around the block or back through the same intersection?
The key is understanding what drives success in other businesses, then applying those principles to find the right systems to benefit your company. Work The System is not another book about how to start or run a business; it’s about understanding how businesses work so that you can use them effectively for your purposes. This book provides an easy-to-follow framework for achieving goals through applying the right influence to the right situations. Using examples and case studies, this book explains how people work together, why some succeed, and others fail, and how we can all improve our chances of success by learning from others’ mistakes and successes.
Work The System Key Points
The whole world runs on different systems
The world runs on systems, and they work despite humans, not because of us. Systems are everywhere: our electrical grid, our internet backbone, our air traffic control system, our financial markets, our health care system — even our government itself is a complex interlocking set of systems that keep things running smoothly. The more complex something is, the more likely it is to involve multiple interacting parts. That means there will be lots of little pieces that make up your computer or phone or car or any other technology you interact with every day. And each has an owner responsible for it and makes decisions about how it should be used (or misused).
For example, If you take out any such system from your life — say your car breaks down or a streetlight goes out — it will continue to function by itself. You can’t do anything about it until someone comes along and fixes or replaces that system.
And yet somehow, these systems get built without anyone ensuring they work properly together. The same is true with most other systems: If you look closely enough at them all, you’ll find they have a lot more in common than they really should — like how they all require water to keep flowing through them; or how if any one of them stops working everything else must stop as well. Systems are why we don’t need a CEO of the world and can still have a sense of security. If we can build a system that just optimizes human happiness and well-being, then we don’t need any more CEOs or presidents or kings or queens. We just need to look at the world around us and figure out how to improve it.
Focus on systems you can control and ignore the other ones you can’t control
You’re not a victim. You’re not powerless. The most important thing you can do is to accept what you can’t control and focus on the systems that are within your control.
There are systems in your life that you can’t control, but that doesn’t mean you can’t influence them. If you try to change the system, you will make it fair for yourself and for others who share your values. Stop complaining about what other people do or don’t do, and start asking yourself if there is anything else you could do to make the world better for yourself and others like yourself – because no one has control over all the systems in their life, which means they’re not especially disadvantaged. Most of the time, if anything goes wrong, it will be because they didn’t even try. Just because their vote doesn’t decide the election doesn’t mean they don’t matter! It just means someone else does.
For example, If you want to learn how to lose weight, don’t worry about getting a magic pill or some other magical solution. Just eat less junk food and exercise more. If you want to get into shape, don’t worry about whether you can run around the block or not — just start running and gradually increase your distance as your body gets used to it. You’ll find that even if it takes months, eventually, your body will catch up with you. In the same way, if you want to improve your life, don’t worry about whether there are any shortcuts — just start working on the systems that are within your control.
Identify all the systems in your life
You first need to identify the systems in your life that you can influence and those that you can’t. If you have no control over anything, then there’s nothing else you can do but accept it because if you try to fight against it, it will only make things worse. But if there are things you can control and things that are out of your control, then things need to be done about it.
Once you have identified everything under your control, it is time to focus on improving them, so they work better for everyone involved. For example, improving communication between husband and wife, parents and children, and friends or coworkers; are all examples of areas where change could make a huge difference in people’s lives. For example, if you want to lose weight, you might ask yourself: “What are the systems limiting my ability to lose weight?” If you identify those systems, then it’s easier to see how you might be able to change them.
- Identify the Systems That Are Limiting Your Life
- Use questions like these as a guide:
- How do I spend my time?
- What decisions do I make every day?
- Who do I spend time with?
- Where do I go for help or support?
Take an inventory of all the systems in your life, including your job, relationships, finances, and health. Then ask yourself: Are these systems under my control? If not, who or what is controlling them? Is there something I can do to make these systems better? If so, how?
Work the System Quotes
“Most people don’t fail by making overt mistakes. They fail because they don’t take action.” –Sam Carpenter
“If solid goals are established and most time is spent manipulating systems toward those goals, great results will materialize naturally.” -Sam Carpenter
Work the System Review
I love the concept of working the system. It’s a great way to get ahead in life, especially if you have a good work ethic and are willing to do the work. If you’re unfamiliar with the term “systems thinking”, this book is for you. Recommended.
To whom would I recommend Work the System Summary?
- Anyone who feels like having no control in life.
- Anyone wants to grow his business.
- Anyone who complains so much.