Wall Street Journal Saturday/Sunday January 13-14, 2018 Review section The Key to Success? Doing Less by Morten T. Hansen, professor of management at the University of California, Berkeley Adapted from his book, “Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More” The title of the essay in the WSJ caught my eye immediately. How does one succeed by doing less? Very intriguing. Morten Hansen’s story sounds like that of many MBA’s who take positions in top consulting firms, start-ups, etc. and spend years working 60. 70, 80 plus hours a week to excel in their career. His Ah-Ha moment came while he was working on an intense project and saw some slides done by a teammate and thought how much better her analysis was than his with better insights and ideas. When he went to look for her and couldn’t find her, he asked a co-worker where she might be and lo and behold she had left for the day. In fact, she typically worked 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. That’s when Morten decided to leave consulting to study workplace performance as an academic. The bottom line is that his research indicated that “the best performers work hard (about 50 hours a week), but they don’t outperform because they work longer hours. They outperform their peers because they have the ability and courage to cut back, simplify when others pile on, to say “no” when others say “yes”, to pursue value when others just meet internal goals and to change how they do their jobs when others stick to the status quo.” They were selective in which priorities to focus on and then excelled at them. It is a fascinating essay that makes one want to read more in his book.