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How We Work

Live Your Purpose, Reclaim Your Sanity, and Embrace the Daily Grind

Product Description and Author Information

About the Book

A practical guide to bringing our whole selves to our professional work, based on the author’s overwhelmingly popular course at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

In today’s workplace, the traditional boundaries between "work" and "personal" are neither realistic nor relevant. From millennials seeking employment in the sharing economy to Gen Xers telecommuting to Baby Boomers creating a meaningful second act, the line that separates who we are from the work we do is blurrier than ever.

The truth is, we don’t show up for our jobs as a portion of ourselves—by necessity, we bring both our hearts and our minds to everything we do. In Take This Job And Love It, mindfulness expert and creator of the perennially-waitlisted Stanford Business School course "Leading with Mindfulness and Compassion" Dr. Leah Weiss explains why this false dichotomy can be destructive to both our mental health and our professional success.

The bad news, says Weiss, is that nothing provides more opportunities for negative emotions—anxiety, anger, envy, fear, and paranoia, to name a few—than the dynamics of the workplace. But the good news is that these feelings matter. How we feel at and about work matters—to ourselves, to the quality of our work, and ultimately to the success of the organizations for which we work.

The path to productivity and success, says Weiss, is not to change jobs, to compartmentalize our feelings, or to create a false "professional" identity—but rather to listen to the wisdom our feelings offer. Using mindfulness techniques, we can learn how to attend to difficult feelings without becoming subsumed by them; we can develop an awareness of our bigger picture goals that orients us and allows us to see purpose in even the most menial tasks. In Take This Job And Love It, Weiss offers a set of practical, evidence-based strategies for practicing mindfulness in the real world, showing readers not just how to survive another day, but how to use ancient wisdom traditions to sharpen their abilities, enhance their leadership and interpersonal skills, and improve their satisfaction.

About the Author

Leah Weiss, Ph.D.

Leah Weiss, PhD, is a researcher, professor, consultant, and author. She teaches courses on compassionate leadership at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and is principal teacher and founding faculty for Stanford’s Compassion Cultivation Program, conceived by the Dalai Lama. She also directs Compassion Education and Scholarship at HopeLab, an Omidyar Group research and development nonprofit focused on resilience. She lives in Palo Alto, California with her husband and three children.


“As lifelong student of mindfulness, a lauded business school teacher, thought leader, and working mother, I can’t think of anyone more qualified to write a book about bringing purpose to the workplace than Leah Weiss. Her thoughtful, wise, and practical book is certain to change lives.” —Thupten Jinpa, PhD, Buddhist scholar and author of A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to be Compassionate Can Transform Our Lives

“If you want work to work for you, read this book.  If you wonder what your true work is, read this book.” —Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Full Catastrophe Living and Coming to Our Senses

“An antidote to burnout and toxic workplaces can help transform the daily grind into the things that most uplift and sustain us: meaningful contribution and a sense of belonging. How We Work offers practical strategies for bringing courage, purpose, and compassion to our work.” —Kelly McGonigal, PhD, author of The Willpower Instinct and The Upside of Stress

“How We Work will change not just how you approach your job, but it could well change your life.  A mix of the practical and the philosophical, Leah Weiss explores this topic in a manner that is both unique and refreshing.” —Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting For Stone

How We Work gets to the heart of the work-life dilemmas we all face: the push-pull of professional and personal, of not enough hours in the day to do it all. Leah Weiss offers simple, practical tools that can help anyone keep calm amid the chaos and remember why they’re doing it in the first place. If you have a job, this book is for you.”
—Laura Vanderkam, Author of I Know How She Does It

“I have long thought that what the Buddha taught can be seen as a highly developed science of mind which, if made more accessible to a lay audience, could benefit many people. I believe that Dr. Weiss’s book, in combining such insights with science and good business practice, offers an effective mindfulness based program that many will find helpful.” —His Holiness, The Dalai Lama

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