A groundbreaking approach to succeeding in business and life, using the science of resourcefulness.
We often think the key to success and satisfaction is to get more: more money, time, and possessions; bigger budgets, job titles, and teams; and additional resources for our professional and personal goals. It turns out we’re wrong.
Using captivating stories to illustrate research in psychology and management, Rice University professor Scott Sonenshein examines why some people and organizations succeed with so little, while others fail with so much.
People and organizations approach resources in two different ways: “chasing” and “stretching.” When chasing, we exhaust ourselves in the pursuit of more. When stretching, we embrace the resources we already have. This frees us to find creative and productive ways to solve problems, innovate, and engage our work and lives more fully.
Stretch shows why everyone—from executives to entrepreneurs, professionals to parents, athletes to artists—performs better with constraints; why seeking too many resources undermines our work and well-being; and why even those with a lot benefit from making the most out of a little.
Drawing from examples in business, education, sports, medicine, and history, Scott Sonenshein advocates a powerful framework of resourcefulness that allows anybody to work and live better.
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About the Author
Scott Sonenshein is the Henry Gardiner Symonds Professor of Management at Rice University and bestselling author of Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less – And Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined and co-author (with Marie Kondo) of Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life. His award winning research, teaching, and speaking has helped Fortune 500 executives, entrepreneurs, and professionals in industries such as technology, energy, healthcare, retail, education, banking, manufacturing, and non-profits.
He holds a PhD in organizational behavior from the University of Michigan, an MPhil from the University of Cambridge, and a BA from the University of Virginia. His research appears in the very top academic journals and has contributed to several topics in management and psychology, including change, creativity, personal growth, social issues, decision making, and influence. Scott sits on five distinguished editorial boards and is a former associate editor of his field’s top publication, the Academy of Management Journal.
Scott also worked as a strategy consultant for companies such as Microsoft and AT&T and lived the rise and fall of the dotcom boom while working for a Silicon Valley startup. He serves on the External Advisory Board of McKinsey & Company’s change implementation practice.
Scott has written for the New York Times, Time Magazine, Fast Company and Harvard Business Review. He has been interviewed on national and local television, NPR stations throughout the country, and has been featured in most major newspapers.
Table of Contents
Introduction: My Stretch ix
1 A Tale of Two Beers: Work with What You've Got 1
2 The Grass Is Always Greener: The Causes and Consequences of a Chasing Mind-Set 21
3 All Things Rich and Beautiful: The Basics and Benefits of a Stretching Mind-Set 45
4 Get Outside: The Value of Knowing a Little about a Lot 71
5 Time to Act: Why We Sometimes Perform Better without a Script (and All the Time and Money in the World) 97
6 We Are What We Expect: How Beliefs Make Us and the People We Care About Better (or Worse) 123
7 Mix It Up: The Power of Unlikely Combinations 147
8 Avoid Injuries: How to Get the Right Stretch 173
9 Workout: Exercises to Strengthen a Stretch 201
Conclusion: Your Stretch 225