REVIEW: Edward D. Hess — Own Your Work Journey! (BOOK)

Colin Jordan
3 min readJul 5, 2023

One of several things that makes Edward D. Hess’s book so effective is that he’s willing to downsize narratively to a decidedly personal angle. It’s not something all accoladed experts are brave enough to do. But Hess has enough style, finesse, and genuine knowledge and confidence in what he speaks that it only adds to the book’s strengths. In less competent hands, a book with the decidedly plainspoken titling of Own Your Work Journey!: The Path to Meaningful Work and Happiness in the Age of Smart Technology & Radical Change! could seem like maudlin drivel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: https://www.edhess.org/about

But with Hess, it adds to the book’s core messaging — in effect, keep it simple, and always remember — Success starts with yourself. “This book is for every human being,” Hess writes, in aforementioned vein. “It matters not what your job is — the lessons apply to all of us — to the worker on the factory floor, to the service worker, to hourly workers, to self-employed workers, to doctors and nurses, to lawyers, to professionals, to entrepreneurs, and to the managers and executives of companies. No one will be exempt from the changes that technology will create.”

It’s unusual for a book in the leadership and business advice nonfiction subcategories to promote responsibility. Not that a healthy sense of responsibility is devoid from most leadership and business advice books, but often there is an intentional or unintentional chest-thumping mentality that comes along with works of that nature. A sort of ego-boosting, if you will. But every time Hess pumps the reader up, with statistically-backed and evidenced methodology, approach, and mindset, he pulls the rug out from under that phenomenon.

Every booster he gives the reader he is the first to assert isn’t just about them, it’s about the responsibility they have to themselves and the environments around them. The two share a symbiotic relationship, particularly in an era increasingly dominated by digitization, remote meetings, and technological solvents to complications usually solved by collaboration, or some form of social interaction. “You will live in the most disruptive domestic time since the Great Depression. What got you here won’t get you there in this new era of constant change and upheaval,” Hess warns. “…To be your Best Self requires you to take control of your life by taking ownership of your ego, your mind, your emotions, your body, and your words and behaviors so you can continuously learn and adapt to the pace of change… Those are the skills that are necessary to navigate and have a happy life in this new era.”

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/OWN-YOUR-WORK-JOURNEY-Meaningful/dp/B0BW2SL7Q3

New era.

Let that sink in for a minute. Like many things Hess communicates to the audience, the decidedly simple christening leaves a memorable mark in one’s mind. We are in a new era. That’s something that I think is the book’s most valuable lesson. Certain approaches and methodologies are timeless. The way they are applied is where one has to be cognizant of their environment. It’s nice to see a book that’s about self-empowerment making the case for emotional intelligence, as much as it does for self-promoting finesse…

Colin Jordan

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Colin Jordan

Graduate: McNeese State University, Avid Beekeeper, Deep Sea Diver & Fisherman, Horrible Golfer