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The 12 Week Year

Get More Done in 12 Weeks Than Others Do in 12 Months
Narrated by: Tom Pile
Length: 5 hrs and 17 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (894 ratings)

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Summary

The guide to shortening your execution cycle down from one year to 12 weeks

Most organizations and individuals work in the context of annual goals and plans; a 12-month execution cycle. Instead, The 12 Week Year avoids the pitfalls and low productivity of annualized thinking. This book redefines your "year" to be 12 weeks long. In 12 weeks, there just isn't enough time to get complacent, and urgency increases and intensifies. The 12 Week Year creates focus and clarity on what matters most and a sense of urgency to do it now. In the end more of the important stuff gets done and the impact on results is profound.

  • Explains how to leverage the power of a 12-week year to drive improved results in any area of your life
  • Offers a how-to book for both individuals and organizations seeking to improve their execution effectiveness
  • Authors are leading experts on execution and implementation

Turn your organization's idea of a year on its head, and speed your journey to success.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2013 Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington (P)2014 Audible Inc.

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on chapter 14...

chapter 14 and still hearing how good the 12weekyear is without the how to implement

128 people found this helpful

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Waste of time

Had I not have already listened to 4 hour working week this would have been great. Sadly this teaches nothing new and is delivered by such a dull monotonous voice artist as to make it unlistenable.

Gave up approx a quarter of the way through

56 people found this helpful

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dire

un original concepts loosely drawn together. re-defines what 'accountability' is to try and differentiate but is just semantics and airy fairy vagueness

70 people found this helpful

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Repetitive and dull

Remove all the repetition and the recording would be less than an hour.

I persevered to half way and still none the wiser.

Summarised as:
Have goals written down
Set targets for each day/week
Go!

84 people found this helpful

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There are better options & doesn't work on Audible

Got this book as I read reviews and the ideas seemed interesting, in truth a) you need to be reading the book to really deal with the concepts so the "book" simply doesn't work in Audible format and b) the ideas are better covered elsewhere.

The goal is to break down your targets into smaller goals and work those to get to the end goal, which in theory is a great concept but the book seems more focused on corporate world in the US than the rest of us so many of the concepts were lost.

25 people found this helpful

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Waste of money

I bought this book after reading all the five star reviews but this book is just trying to brain wash you by repeating the 12 week year. The book is composed of that frame more than anything else.

30 people found this helpful

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Not sure what audible others are listening to??

To me this book and the whole concept is revolutionary! Let me give you some examples of how it's working for me...

week 1 - Again somehow don't quite get around to doing, or carving out time for, the stuff that really matters. the stuff that will move me forward in life. another week rolls by. it's now Saturday and not a thing done. But this time its different. I spent 4 hrs listing a very specific and detailed plan for each and every week of the 12 week plan. i put this on my whiteboard in my bedroom so I can't not see it, when I wake and when I go to bed at night. this time, I refer to my 12 wk plan, knowing that I'm doing the same dam thing I've done for years! not making time for the important stuff! it's right there in front of me! and I know the next week is equally as challenging by referring to my 12 week plan. so if I don't fulfill my goals for the 1st week what chance have I got for the 2nd, 3rd 4th. But somehow, if i can claw back this week, just maybe, I'm in with a shot at doing this thing! and i do. I work my ass off in the last 2 days and manage to complete things. because as recommended in the audible this plan is a way of ensuring you hold yourself accountable. how? by making each week measurable. see people forget the power of URGENCY when added to the mix. you add that into any plan or goals, well, you are a whole different animal! and that's what this thing does!

This book creates a mindshift. it's revolutionary. I'm 4 weeks in and momentum is starting to pick up. my head is held high again and my confidence grows each day. tired? hell yeah! but for 12 weeks you can tolerate and do just about anything if you fight hard! see that's what this whole concept does. it creates a psychological shift. my main problem was knowing I could not sustain such a high intensity pace for a full year. overwhelming to say the least! for 12 weeks? of course I can. and then the next 12 weeks, and the next.....same intensity, same volume of work but the physcological shift in my mind because of this, is somehow allowing me to do it week in and week out! I feel like the day off today? Glance at my 12 week plan now on my phone....hell no! of course I can't! 12 weeks is nothing! so I continue to perform at my best day after day. and the unshakable energy due to higher confidence, self esteem etc.....

Bottom line, if you want something bad enough, this book WILL transform your mind and therefore your life. in case people question my experience in this type of content, I've been consuming self development books for 5 years now. continually improving. But this book goes at the top of the list. thank you so much for, well, changing my mind. 😉

last little tip: no matter how hard or how stuck or tired you feel first day, week or few weeks.....tell yourself if I can just make it through, see what happens? if you do, everything grows within you, and you start your shift into greater things. good luck to everyone and all the very best in your endeavours!

5 people found this helpful

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A lot of waffling around a good solution

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The guy needs to be more specific. The book could have been condensed and made shorter. The principle of what he is talking about are worth listening too.

15 people found this helpful

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Great content, shame about the delivery.

A book like this comes with big promises. A change in your thinking which can change your life if you let it.

I love how the author makes having a 12 week year sound relatively easy. There are plenty of tools to use as you adapt to this new way of thinking.

I would recommend the print version though as the narrator had a soft and sultry voice - perfect to fall asleep to. Not perfect for an early morning commute. Did find myself drifting off a few times so will probably have a listen after a lethal dose of caffeine.

18 people found this helpful

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Good intentions

Lots of good intentions, not much in the way of data. Reads like a self help book. Meh.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Steven
  • 27-12-15

Not enough meat.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

A person who is just starting their "journey to personal development and organizational methods."

What was most disappointing about Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington ’s story?

The subtitle of the book ("Get more done in 12 weeks...") leads you to believe that this book talks about a process you can use to get stuff done. Instead, the book is filled with anecdotes about why thinking in a 12 week cycle is better than an annual cycle. The problem I have with this is that just about anyone who buys a book called the 12 week year is probably already sold on the idea of it. What we need is HOW to implement this. Yes, the author does say things like "Establish a vision and connect it to your personal ambitions" and "set and attend a Weekly Action Meeting.." He also talks about the importance of having a "written plan." But again, if you've heard any book in the past 20 years about productivity, there's not much new here. Taken this way, It's basically saying set a goal and give yourself 12 weeks to accomplish it rather than the typical year. I will admit that if you can make this mindset ship, it can be profound. If that is the goal of this book - to just get a person to change their time horizon - then I suppose the book might accomplish this.
However, if you are like me, a person who values process and wants to see the tangible deliverables/actions needed to implement a 12 week year, then you might find this book a bit frustrating. The sellers of this book would do well to create a companion "field guide" audio book. The field guide could serve as a sort of training on how to use the "system," complete with worksheets/workbook that the reader could follow along with.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

From the school of thought that there is some good in everything: it makes a VERY STRONG case about the merits of a 12 week year.

Any additional comments?

I had no problems with the narrator (although for some reason I kept thinking of the guy on the screen in Apple's 1984 commercial...)

If you are young or just starting out in a career, then this book will be good for you as it establishes a good grounding in how to get stuff done.

If like me, you are an established professional and were sold on the concept of a 12 week the second you heard the title (it is an awesome concept), you don't really need this book. Just apply any of the personal productivity models but shorten your horizon to 12 weeks instead of a year.

Seller: PLEASE CREATE A FIELD GUIDE / COMPANION BOOK.

214 people found this helpful

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  • Attila Tamas Zimler
  • 09-12-15

Bla bla balh

Talks about a process that it is going to describe in the book in later chapter, then the book ends without containing any exact process.

A beautiful example, how to sell nothing.

98 people found this helpful

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  • Kau
  • 18-11-18

Save your time: the take-home message is in the title

Brian Moran presents a winning concept: distill the timeframe of your plans, resolutions, and goals that usually span 365 days into a more tangible 84 days. Such a mentality works on multiple levels including the sustenance of hard deadlines, the ease of keeping up required levels of motivation, and ultimately, the tendency for more sober yet achievable expectations.

Such a concept, full of potential, you’d think, would make an intriguing book on productivity. It partly does, but unfortunately, the book misses the mark most of the time.

I first heard of the concept of the twelve-week year on the Asian Efficiency podcast. Intrigued, I decided to try it out from August till November. I am an academic, and shifting the timeframe of my expectations to twelve weeks proved to be highly effective. My goals were more realistic and hence the outcomes were also quite successful. I also follow a modified system of GTD and try to adhere to Newport’s Deep Work philosophies. Moran’s idea provides a strong complementary workflow idea to these systems.

In this book though, the twelve-week-year is provided and introduced as an overall system, with weekly reviews, process control, lead/lag indicators etc. For readers familiar with GTD and deep work, these concepts are not novel and feel rehashed. For readers to whom these ideas are new, they are not presented or introduced in a sequential, digestible manner and instead, feel strung together atop the twelve-week-year as an afterthought. Examples and case studies of the successes and failures of the system are not adequately or convincingly provided. Furthermore, there is a bizarrely stringent tone of “anti-victim mentality” throughout the book whenever the author purports to provide (so-called) advice. While there might be some truth to not blaming circumstances and while “owning your actions” is solid advice, the harsh push to not frame yourself as a victim coupled with overt snippets of Christian proselytizing (“Listen to Him”) really rubbed me the wrong way. The bottom line is that the twelve-week-year is a great concept which you should try to implement in your workflow. The book, however, falls short on many levels. Lastly, the audiobook narrator is ill-suited for the material, reading the contents far too dramatically and seriously in his “I am Batman” rasp.

36 people found this helpful

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  • Cynthia
  • 17-02-15

Intriguing and Irritating

I didn't actually read the Publisher's Summary before I bought "The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks Than Others Do in 12 Months" (2013, text; 2014, Audible) , and that's a good thing. I wouldn't have voluntarily listened to something that promises that it's the "The guide to shortening your execution cycle . . ." The only execution cycle I know is in computer programming, and the last code I wrangled with was an early 1990's version of Unix.

What "The 12 Week Year" turned out to be is a time management program based interim goals, set quarterly. The 13th week is an added, or bonus, week so the "year" works out to an even year. I almost heard gears shift when I understood the concept. I think this could work for me.

Mentally, I had to change the plan to "The 3 Month Year" because my job and goals really do not fit into a weekly schedule. Even though I'm a licensed professional, I'm in what Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington call "a reactive job." My deadlines and corresponding goals are driven by rules my employer does not control - they are set by statutes.

"The 12 Week Year" seems to be focused on sales people and sales teams with a lot more flexibility than I have. That doesn't mean I don't think I can apply the principles, I just need to adjust the author's suggestions to work at my work. The suggestions for personal improvement -,well, trying to lose 10 pounds in 12 weeks sure sounds a lot more manageable than the really daunting number that I have to drop after I successfully quit smoking a year ago, thanks to M J Ryan's "This Year I Will: How To Finally Change A Habit, Keep A Resolution, Or Make A Dream Come True" (2006).

So, now for the irritating: the authors suddenly go off on really odd, distracting and unsupported tangents. There's a woman whose supposedly making 100 home visits a month, and even more phone calls, in her counseling job while she's homeschooling her son. Right. And the word "intentionality"? It's a sociological concept describing cognition, not a touchy-feely motivational word. I ended up tuning out the dissonance, hoping I didn't miss something I could have used.

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

138 people found this helpful

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  • Andrew&Alyson
  • 07-02-20

My notes from the book

The best performer is the best executer
Get rid of the mindset that goals are annual

Execution happens daily and weekly. Not monthly and quarterly
Don’t think in a year.

Periodization
We are what we repeatably do. Excellence is not an act but a habit.
-Aristotle
12 week year Creates a sense of ugrgency that breeds success
Forget about a year. 12 weeks is best.
Annual goals and excitement happen all the time. Not just in December.

Vision
You have to have a clear vision you want more than anything else to stay motivated.
What do you really want to achieve. What legacy?
This keeps you motivated
“Without a compelling vision, you will discover there is no reason to go through the pain of change”
-Robert K Greenland


Create a personal vision you want
Planning us some of the most productive time you have!
Define your overall 12 week goal. It defines your overall success for the period.
“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else”. -Yogi Beara


One week at a time
Live your life in weekly goals
You have greater control over your actions than your results. Focus on your actions.
Consultant action toward your goals is the key!
Desire is not enough. You have to act!
“The fall of dropping water wears away the stone” -Ducreitious

Spend 15 mins reviewing your plan each week.
First 5 mi a of each day should review your week.
Be great at a few things instead of mediocre at many.

Keep score! So you know how you’re doing.

Indicators
Measure lead indicators like miles run, sales, referrals,
Lag indicators like income and total weigh
Don’t care as much about lag indicators

Weekly score card
Critical activities you need to accomplish each week to achieve your overall goals.
Score on execution not results
How well did you execute your weekly plan?
Strive for excellence not perfection. 85% is great!
Most value and greatest impact.
Score keeping is not for the faint of heart! You need to be courageous and honest.

Intentionality
Don’t let the day direct you. Tiny tasks eat up your day.
It’s not enough tot be busy. So are the ants. The question is, what are we buddy about? -Thereo
Use time blocking system.
strategic blocks. 3 hour block a week. No calls or messages. Focus on strategy for the week.
Buffer blocks. Deal with unplanned and unproductive shit. Maybe just do 30 mins a day.
Break out blocks. Free time.

Accountability
Is Ownership not consequences



Characteristics
8 important aspects
Vision
planning
Process control
Measurement
Time use
Accountable
Commitment
Greatness in the moment

Establishing a vision
A compelling vision is a powerful force to move you forward
Story: after a fire, purple fire flowers will grow. This is the vision of the forests new growth.


3 types of visions: long, mid, short
Long term visions are audacious and crazy
What’s the most important things you desire?
Construct a vision 5-10-15 years into future? A life yo deeply desire

3 year vision:

How will your life be different if you accomplish your goals?
If you aren’t getting your daily / weekly task done, the comfort of now is higher than your desire to get your goal

Team Vision. Describes where you will be at a set point in the future.

Vision pitfalls
Don’t take it seriously. Consider it fluff
Not meaningful. Need to connect emotionally
Too small! Doesn’t call for best efforts. Should make you feel uncomfortable
Don’t connect it to daily actions


How to make your vision for impactful
Share your vision with others
Print it out so you can always see it
Live with intention


Plan your 12 week year

Fewer simplistic goals are easier to hit
A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.


Get your team on the 12 week year
Have them set they’re own goal and keep them accountable to it

Only one person per task!

WAM Weekly accountability meeting
2-4 people weekly meeting. Takes 15-20 mins
Agenda
individuals report. Results to date. Weekly execution score. Weekly intentions. Feedback to group
Talk
Encouragement
The speed of the group is the speed of the leader


Pitfalls
Thinking you don’t need to write it down. You do!
Weekly plan shouldn’t have all the little todos. Only big goals. Don’t dilute your plan. Only strategy items.
Assume each week is the same. All weeks are different.
Add tactics weekly. Don’t add stuff weekly. Should have it all set up at the beginning of the 12 weeks.
Don't use it to guide your day. Make sure to check in each day to make sure your on track.


Keeping score
Measurement is very important
Don’t have to be complicated. Does need to be timely.
Make sure to measure lead indicators.
Measure action, not results
Don’t use measurement as accountability. Don’t punish employees for bad results
65% to 85% is good
Ask yourself, if 65% enough to achieve my goals?

You need to sacrifice to achieve your goals


Blocks
Strategy blocks should be planned for 3 hours of uninterrupted strategy time
Buffer blocks are 30-60 mins 1-2 times a day to do work shit like email that doesn’t take deep thoughtful.
Break out blocks are designed to prevent burn out. 3 hours. Weekly or monthly


Perfect week
15 mins to look over last week and plan this week
Schedule 3 hour strategy block
Schedule 1-2. Buffer blocks
Break out block
Schedule all other activities


Accountability
Don’t feel sorry for yourself
Own your actions
Don’t make excuses

Failure vs fallure
Failure is when you let go.
Fallure is when you give it all you got and still fail. You fall instead of letting go.


Having a step by step plan helps get to the desired goal.
Think about driving. Getting across the state is hard. If you have turn by turn directions. It makes it way easier.

Commit to a plan
Week 3: Consistently commit to a plan
Week 5: 7 weeks left. 12 week year is not a lot of time. What would have been different if you had score 85% or better.
Week 8: productive tension. You can see the deadline now! Take action
Week 11: finish strong! What can you do this day / week?

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-08-15

Felt like the book was a plug for the website

I got very little from the book. Went to the website but it seemed more like an opportunity to spend money on a workbook or coaching. the book consistently told me what a great program the 12 week year is, but all I really got out if it was: treat your time as if you don't have as much of it. You have 12 weeks instead of 12 months to meet goals. I got that idea when I read the title of the book.

33 people found this helpful

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  • Mihnea
  • 27-08-15

I almost felt sorry for buying the book

Great content, easy to understand and follow.

However... The narrator talks you to sleep. Very poor performance. Extremely boring, no intonations and lineal. Very boring.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Shavonta Green
  • 02-05-18

Look forward to Results!

I enjoyed this book! Solid advice to follow! Wish it came with a written guide!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kim H. Young
  • 01-12-16

Effective concepts with pragmatic details

The authors have clearly tested their concepts in the fire of modern corporate America. Based on the pragmatic details provided in the book, it's clear the authors have a great deal of experience implementing their 12-week year model. As with all books of this type, the authors sometimes retreat to platitudes, such as "learn to be positive". This is unavoidable because no single book can teach everything. The new concepts presented are of such a caliber that such skeletal guideposts are forgivable.

Regarding the performance, I found the voice talent excruciatingly slow. I like slow and plodding for fiction, but for technical and commercial information, I want it fast. Thank goodness for 1.5x speed on my player.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew Stinar
  • 31-08-15

An excellent book, but hard to listen to

This book is such a powerful contributed to my long term success in life and business. I just wish the narrator want so hard to listen to. his voice and reading style would be perfectly suited to reading poetry intended to relax you or even put you to sleep. I would have gotten more out of this book the first time through with a different narrator.

11 people found this helpful