We all define great work differently. Because we are motivated by different things, we all have a definition of what great work is. We know we want more great work because great work has meaning. Doing great work provokes a certain feeling in most of us that is undeniable. It inspires us and provides us a profound connection to the organizations we work in.

Problem is, many individuals are stuck doing “bad work” or just “good work”.  Organizations are notoriously creating what both Milton Glaser, Graphic Designer and Michael Bungay Stanier appropriately termed “bad work” in his 2010 best seller “Do More Great Work.”

In order to know what we need to change to do great work in our everyday, we need to first assess what defines bad work, good work and ultimately great work.

Bad Work

This work drains energy and does not add value to the organization.

Good Work

This work is the work we are often doing in the organizations we work. It is the work that we are likely good at and adds some value, but doesn’t drive significant business results.

Great Work

Now great work is entirely different. Great work breaks the status quo, pushes the boundaries and allows us to imagine the impossible. Great work drives innovation, creativity and results.

Every role has an element of great work that brought out the best in us for a period of time.  We strive to find challenging roles that allow us to focus primarily on doing great work. Now, great work turns into good work over time. The key is to seek out the great work constantly in order to stretch us beyond our current capabilities. We should all look for roles where we can bring our best self to the role and the organization.