Work That Counts Book

One of Silicon Valley’s top leadership trainers distills his proven framework that has empowered teams at the world’s most innovative companies – from Google and Facebook to Cisco Systems and biotech giant Genentech/Roche – to do the best work of their lives.

Richard Lee has worked with thousands of ambitious leaders and their teams, and has found that they all share the same frustration. Whether it’s because of communication breakdowns or increasing complexity, people at every level of an organization feel like their results fall short of their expectations–even though they are putting in a lot of effort.

The framework outlined in Work That Counts draws on examples from teams he has worked with at the world’s most cutting edge, disruptive companies, and provides practical solutions to the problems that hold people back in nearly every organization. Among other critical skills, you’ll learn:

  • How a team leader can hold team members accountable without micromanaging–and what team members need to do concurrently to earn the team leader’s trust.
  • How to get support for your objectives from other teams, even when they don’t report to you or your division or your business unit.
  • How to partner with others, within your team and on other teams, to achieve the results you want.

Work That Counts is a commonsense yet groundbreaking guide, filled with assessments and real-world examples that will empower organizations to make the most of their people and become more than the sum of their parts.

Praise For the Book

“The concepts and message in Work That Counts are spot on! Richard nails what is required to drive healthy change and performance in organizations of all sizes. This book is a great resource for top leaders and their teams.”

JOHN DONAHOE, CEO of Nike; former CEO of eBay, Bain & Company, and ServiceNow

My team and I got so much value from working with Richard and the content in Work That Counts – In and Across Teams. The approach was incredibly relevant to our daily challenges, and by the end of the program the changed behaviors on our team started driving real incremental impact for the business. The five week format was particularly useful at building adoption of the techniques within the team through real-world application in between sessions.

Doug Fraser, then VP of Business Planning and Operations, Meta/Facebook, VP of Business Planning and Operations, Snap

When Richard Lee brought Crucial Conversations into Google, it revolutionized my understanding of common workplace interactions, and became required reading for all members of my team several years ago. Work That Counts has the same potential to transform how individuals and leaders work. In Richard’s inimitable way, Work That Counts walks the reader through the theory and practice of helping people work together efficiently and effectively. Everyone working in a team environment (that is, all of us!) can now take concrete steps to make both themselves and those around them more productive and more effective.

Benjamin Treynor Sloss, Engineering Vice President, Google

Richard Lee offers a guide worth more than money. It will save you time, frustration, and dramatically increase your likelihood of success. Whether it’s a large global company, or an aspiring start-up, you will benefit from his well-earned wisdom.

Ken Coleman, Chairman of EIS Group, Special Advisor to Andreessen Horowitz VC firm, and former EVP at SGI

Work That Counts unlocks the potential of anyone to have more impact in their personal life, team or organization. Lee offers profoundly powerful insights that enable you to understand what is holding you back and how to change it. Reading it was a joy and an inspiration.

Todd Pierce, former CIO at Genentech/Roche and EVP of Operations and Mobility at Salesforce

“Work That Counts is an excellent book offering insights that are immediately actionable that have practical impact on managing your organization.”

Stan Meresman, Board Member and Chair of the Audit Committees at: Snap Inc., DoorDash, Medallia, Cloudflare, Guardant Health, and formerly LinkedIn.

A masterpiece! Richard Lee’s Work That Counts is based on decades of his personal experience and success in creating and delivering to both small and large enterprises, incredibly effective tools for building teams that not only meet their goals, but most often, go well beyond. His concepts seamlessly weaved together with a remarkably clear and personable approach, contributed to our executive and operational teams’ success in creating one of the largest and most successful pharmaceutical manufacturing companies in North America.

James A. Cusumano, former Chairman and CEO of Catalytica Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

If you want to get the right things done in teams, in any organization then there is no better guide than Richard Lee’s book, Work That Counts. It will help you turn your obstacles into the assets you need to make things happen.

Greg McKeown, Author of New York Times Best Seller, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

As the leading health care provider in the country, we strive to innovate and find better ways to lead, manage and deliver services to save lives. Work That Counts offers a simple yet powerful framework that can be used at all levels to encourage collaboration across an enterprise, which ultimately leads to the most important thing – better patient care.

Melanie Gao, Director of Executive Development, HCA Healthcare’s Leadership Institute

Work That Counts is an excellent guidebook for all human relationships. Richard Lee has created an elegantly simple three-part model as a framework to optimize efficiency in any organization. He then uses the model as a roadmap to provide step-by-measurable step processes illustrated with vivid use cases. As a crowning touch, he applies the same model to personal life. A must for every business bookshelf.

Jerry Weissman, Author of the Best-Selling Presenting to Win, The Power Presenter and In the Line of Fire

More than numbers, business is about people – how clearly they understand their organizations’ goals, and how effectively they work together to achieve those goals. Richard Lee’s Work That Counts is a valuable addition to a growing body of insights and actionable ideas – such as Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) – that empower organizational success and personal achievement through transparency, team alignment, and trust.

Doug Dennerline, CEO of Betterworks, former CEO of SAP’s Success Factors

Philanthropic organizations can grow very rapidly and have sizable and complex multi-location operations. As such they have the same team building and cross department challenges as for-profit companies. Richard’s model outlined in Work That Counts is just as relevant, and maybe even more so for nonprofits, where the key to success is building a well-run mission driven organization, not one driven by profits.

Mark Perry, former EVP/CFO/Vice Chairman of SGI, and General Partner, NEA (Silicon Valley Venture Capital firm)

Work That Counts delivers on Richard’s extensive hands-on experience in a well-organized and clearly-written way that provides the kind of practical insights I could have used in the General Counsel’s office at the Treasury Department.

Stephen Larson, former Acting General Counsel, United States Treasury Department

Take out your highlighter. Dog-ear this book. Open your planner. Turn ‘ahas’ into commitments. You are now sitting at the feet of someone who can help you change your relationships, teams and organizations for good. He has mine.

Joseph Grenny, Co-author of NY Times Best Sellers Crucial Conversations, Crucial Accountability and Influencer