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The Seven-Day Weekend: A Better Way to Work in the 21st Century [Paperback]

Ricardo Semler
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 Feb 2004
In The Seven-Day Weekend, Semler explains how he transformed a small family business into a highly profitable manufacturing, services and high-tech powerhouse - 40 times larger - while watching his favorite movies or relaxing with his son in the middle of the business day. Praise for The Seven-Day Weekend'Are there real-life lessons to be learned? The answer is yes-Pragmatic, inspirational and intriguing advice' The Times'Ricardo Semler is our kind of capitalist.' Guardian'In this book, Ricardo Semler tells how Semco, Latin America's fastest growing company, uses a revolutionary way of working to run a profit making company with a work force who love their jobs.' The Sunday Times'The Seven-Day Weekend challenges conventional approaches to work. It sparks ideas that can be applied to one's own business [and] will certainly encourage managers to look very carefully at their management practices.' Rocco Forte, Management TodayPraise for Ricardo Semler's Maverick!'Semco takes workplace democracy to previously unimagined frontiers' The Times'His egalitarian approach works like a dream' Today

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The Seven-Day Weekend: A Better Way to Work in the 21st Century + Maverick!: The Success Story Behind the World's Most Unusual Workplace + Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Business; New Ed edition (5 Feb 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099425238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099425236
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"Ricardo Semler tells how Semco uses a revolutionary way of working to run a profit making company with a work force who love their jobs" (The Sunday Times)

"The Seven-Day Weekend will certainly encourage managers to look very carefully at their management practices" (Rocco Forte Management Today)

"Ricardo Semler is our kind of capitalist" (The Guardian)

Book Description

The new book from the author of Maverick! which sold 1.1 million copies worldwide.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Threat to civilisation as we know it.... 15 April 2003
By A Customer
Ricardo Semler tells great ripping yarns. His book 'Maverick' is an honest account of a young man taking control of the family business and steering the company through most of the management fads of the 20th century. He has great people skills, finely tuned intuition, self confidence and the ability to admit mistakes. The journey turned the company into a massive success through a group of businesses, which thrived even during the worst crashes of the Brazilian economy. His main claim to fame is the sociological experiment with his people.
This book takes us further. Semler has focussed on aspiring to workplace democracy. That means relinquishing control. He may own the biggest chunk of the business, but he doesn't exercise power of veto, but goes along with consensus.
He still tells ripping yarns and ranges widely across philosophical tales, great thinkers and writers of our age and forecasts for the future.
What makes him different from Peters, Handy and Harvey-Jones? Semler isn't one to recycle the same old stories from book to book, nor put together stuff from elsewhere. He tells tales from recent history including dot.com mistakes and learning. He considers his own balance and focus on wisdom.
He advocates revolutionary stuff that only a handful of companies worldwide (mostly privately owned) practise. He dismisses corporate window dressing of mission statements and employee consultation and points out how far we go to war to defend democracy, but practice Eastern bloc centralisation in our workplace.
He tells a great tale about CEO egos that refused to recognise the writing on the wall of their dot.coms and allowed their companies to lose megabucks instead of joining forces in humility.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Quiet Revolutionary 18 Jun 2003
By "rjwb"
Ricardo Semler tells a convincing tale of life at his company Semco, where they have dispensed with the rigid distinction between work life and personal life and his staff enjoy a seven-day weekend. Traditional management by hierarchy has been dispensed with in favour of self-managementa and implicitly staff being trusted to organise their own lives.
He is at his best when giving detailed accounts of how he puts his philosophy into practice, acknowleging failures as well as successes. He gives vivid accounts of the characters and circumstances of his staff and how they have fitted in (or not) into this model of organisation. These accounts have an appealing honesty and show a good deal of affection towards those he employs. This is much more effective in getting his point across than the usual buzzwords and abstract philosophising of management textbooks.
Semler is at his weakest when he leaves the specifics of his own experience and occasionally digresses into generalised comments about business, politics and whether his system is socialism or capitalism or neither. In this, he regales us with nothing more than the trite simplisms of "third way" politics - we in the UK are more than familiar with these in the variants of "New" Labour, from Tony Crosland in the last century to Tony Blair in this.
He also shrinks from dealing with the unpleasant flipside to his system of blurring personal and work lives - whether his seven-day weekend could just as well be described as the seven-day working week! It's difficult to argue, however, with one of his contentions: if we know how to read work emails on a Sunday night, why don't we know how to go to the cinema on a Monday afternoon?
Overall a fascinating and wholly convincing read, well argued and full of personal charm. And a must-read for anyone interested in challenging the Western military style of hierarchical management in favour of a more democratic, adult alternative.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
This is a question you will find yourself asking all throughout this book.Although Semler doesn't write a very logical or chronological story, hemakes it a point NOT to be logic, but rather to ask you triggeringquestions and give examples of how things can be done differently. Suchas: how come we find it acceptable to anwer e-mails on Sunday afternoon,but it is not done to skip work to go to the movie on Monday afternoon?Or: why should I move closer to work, instead of work move closer to me?(Semco has invested in work cafes at the edge of town, thus preventingthat people have to go through rush hour traffic.)
The many practicalexamples make the book compelling. It gives you an immediate boost to makechanges in your own working environment.
Must-read if you find yourself tired of the way things work in yourcompany!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why follow the herd!!!! 16 Mar 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this after stumbling across a review when i was looking for information on a new job role i had. I have spent 15 years in retail management and now 10 in insurance as a manager and now a director. I am still hamstrung by more senior directors but where i can i follow the principles of this remarkable book that effectively throws all we know about managing people out of the window and rewrites how to manage and run not only profitable business but a motivated one and changes the basic foundations of lots of people working `AT' XXXX company to lots of people working 'FOR' their company and that is a massive difference.
I love it, love it, it is a slow start but then builds momentum, the changes start from the employees one aspect of it is recruiting their managers, sounds odd but if the incentive is to achieve a tough but achievable target on project X and you will all benefit by getting Y then people will want a manager that can help them achieve it.
I won't spoil it all but if you have not been turned into an automated drone manager and have a mind of your own then this is worth a good read, the `thou must wear a 3 pce suit and must work 9 -5' will hate it (I gave this to my MD and he `lost' it when he was away on business!!!).
The sooner managers/ Directors/ Owners realise that once you have motivated, happy and energised employee's the quicker and easier everything becomes.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
One of the most Important Business Books ever written. It is without any question a masterpiece. I have bought many copies of this book and give them as gifts to colleagues and... Read more
Published 11 months ago by R D Britain
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome book
The book is really good. I am not very much into business-business books. This is the one that links real-life experience and wisdom with an individual's work life and business as... Read more
Published on 15 Aug 2012 by Marina
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, thought proviking reading
Semler has a fresh view to working today.
A balance of personal and professional aspirations taken to the extreme - in real life. Read more
Published on 22 Oct 2011 by KennyN
5.0 out of 5 stars Why not a worldwide philosophy of business?
I was wowed by Maverick and so excited to catch up on what has happened at Semco. The joy of reading this book is tempered by the sadness that the philosophy that is Semco is not... Read more
Published on 23 Nov 2004 by Keith Lawson
5.0 out of 5 stars The Only Way Forward!
Having read back in 1995 his first book Maverick,I was always in the belief his organisational beliefs would succeed. Read more
Published on 4 Aug 2003 by Orlando Carugo
4.0 out of 5 stars A Quiet Revolutionary
Ricardo Semler's latest book is probably bound to be another bestseller. Drawing heavily on his practical experience of running the Semco corporation in Brazil, he argues strongly... Read more
Published on 8 Jun 2003 by "rjwb"
5.0 out of 5 stars Next stage of work-place evolution, truly
There are two reasons why this book is important:
(1) Ricardo Semler has created a conglomerate that is clearly the next stage in organizational evolution. Read more
Published on 23 April 2003 by Saravanan Balakrishnan
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