Summary of Work the System

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

Work the System book summary


8 Overall

9 Applicability

7 Innovation

6 Style


Author and project engineer Sam Carpenter owns Centratel, a now-profitable telephone-answering company that spent 15 years barely surviving. When Carpenter was working 80-hour weeks struggling to make payroll, he was a basket case – nervous, tense and depressed. He got by on a lot of coffee and very little sleep. Then, he had a eureka moment. He suddenly grasped that many different systems directed his life and work. He saw that if he could control and perfect these systems, he could solve many complex issues. This realization changed his life. Now, Carpenter enjoys himself and works only a couple of hours weekly. He has time for everything he wants to do, and his business hums along. The refreshing thing about this book is Carpenter’s personal perspective as a business owner who figured things out for himself. It’s not just another volume reflecting the theoretical ideas of a management consultant or professor. Carpenter explains his systems-management approach so well that you can use his accessible methods to improve your operations and your personal life. getAbstract recommends this logical book to small-business owners and all those who want to improve the way they run their lives. The caveat: You have to get to work.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to use systems analysis to improve your business and your life
  • How to manage your systems
  • How and why you should document your goals, values and processes.

About the Author

Sam Carpenter is the president and CEO of Centratel. He founded and oversees Kashmir Family Aid, a nonprofit organization that assists children who survived the 2005 Northern Pakistan and Azad Kashmir earthquake.



The Systems Approach
Do you put in long hours but feel you achieve nothing? When you leave the office for a day, does your firm fall apart? Do hundreds of messages demanding your attention await your return? If so, you have become a “slave” to your work, a clear sign that you are mismanaging...

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category