Servant Leadership is a wonderful concept that has inspired our work since I first read Robert Greenleaf’s book of the same title years ago.
I just learned that the Servant Leadership Institute have their annual conference in San Diego on March 13+14 and the program looks absolutely fascinating. It includes Ken Blanchard and many other great speakers.
I can’t go myself – I’m speaking at the Dutch Happiness Week in Eindhoven – but I highly recommend the event and looking into servant leadership in general.
Last month I gave a keynote at Danish pharmaceutical company Xellia. While waiting in their lobby, I noticed the sign above, carrying probably the simplest and most inspiring company purpose I’ve ever seen.
As you may know, one of the biggest current medical crises is the increasing risk of infection by multi-resistant bacteria, who are immune to traditional antibiotics.
Xellia produces an antibiotic that is still effective against multi-resistant bacteria. Their research and products directly saves lives all over the world and we are proud to have them as a client.
After the keynote, they sent us this feedback:
“Your speech clearly showed why happiness at work is so important and helped us focus on it and maintain it in our workplace. You gave our entire team a huge and much-needed boost – thank you!”
– Morten Rank, People Manager, Chemical Laboratory, Xellia Pharmaceuticals
Wow – I cannot believe how many fascinating international events we get invited to speak at.
While most of our speaking gigs are for client companies and therefore limited to only their employees, we also speak at open events.
If you want to see me speak about happiness at work, these are my upcoming international speaking gigs that are open to the public.
- Brussels, February 15: Keynote at Council of British International Schools
- Eindhoven, March 13+14: Keynote+workshop at Eindhoven Happiness Week
- Miami, March 16-18: World Happiness Summit
- Ho Chi Minh City, March 22+23: Keynote + workshop at Vietnam Best Places to Work Event
- Istanbul, March 29+30: Keynote+workshop with Power of Happiness
- Beirut, March 31: Keynote at Lebanon HR Summit
- Dubai, May 1: Keynote at 12th Human Capital Forum
And of course – don’t forget our own International Conference on Happiness at Work in Copenhagen on May 18+19.
For the last 8 years we have arranged an annual conference on happiness at work in Copenhagen. The next one is on May 18+19 2017 and for the first time ever we’re making the conference international, so the whole event will be in English.
We want to show you just how energetic, fun and valuable this conference is, so here are five of our favorite speeches from previous years.
David Marquet (2013): Happiness at work on a nuclear submarine
When David Marquet took command of the nuclear submarine the USS Santa Fe, he knew he needed to change a lot of things. It was the worst performing submarine, was never ready for its missions on time and was basically the laughing stock of the US navy.
David came in with a plan to improve the results on the submarine and thereby make its crew happier. By accident, he found that he had to do it the other way around: Make the submarine a happy workplace and results would follow.
The new plan worked, and the USS Santa Fe became the best performing submarine.
In this speech from our 2013 conference, David Marquet explains how he did it and how you can create a happier workplace too.
Srikumar Rao (2009): The two traps that keep us from being happy
One of the highlights of our 2009 conference on happiness at work in Copenhagen was Dr. Srikumar S. Rao’s wonderfully inspiring and funny presentation.
His presentation focused specifically on two traps you must avoid, that keep us from becoming happy.
Dr. Rao is the man behind the pioneering course Creativity and Personal Mastery, the only business school course that has its own alumni association and it has been extensively covered in the media including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the London Times, the Independent, Time, the Financial Times, Fortune, the Guardian, Business Week and dozens of other publications.
The Free Help Guy (2015): Happiness is… helping others.
The Free Help Guy has devoted a large part of his life to helping others – free and anonymously.
He believes in doing what you can for others, that value doesn’t look like coins and notes and that for every problem there is at least one solution.
He also believes in anonymity rather than self promotion and in living by your beliefs, which is why you can’t see his face in the video.
In this inspiring speech, he shares his story. Read more at www.thefreehelpguy.com.
Steve Shapiro (2011): Personality Poker
Does your organization help every single employee know their strong sides AND apply them more at work? Do people know and respect their coworkers’ personalities and preferences? Do you know what makes your coworkers happy or unhappy at work?
Steve Shapiro, the author of 24/7 Innovation and Best Practices Are Stupid takes participants at our 2011 conference through a game of Personality Poker, showing the 4 main personalities at work and what makes each of them happy or unhappy.
Henry Stewart (2016): 3 advanced tips for creating a happy workplace
Henry Stewart is the founder of Happy, a company in London that does computer and happiness trainings. They are also (naturally) a very happy workplace.
In this speech, Henry shares 3 advanced tips for creating a happy workplace:
- Let employees choose their boss
- Give pre-approval on big projects
- Let employees set their own goals
Bonus video: The world’s happiest DJ (2015)
This isn’t a speech as such but it is one of our favorite moments from the conferences.
This is a German DJ who became famous on youtube a few years ago for being incredibly happy while playing. He used that as a springboard to quit the day job that he hated and become a full-time DJ.
In this video from our 2015 conference he plays a very short set and then shares his story.
Meet a man who had the courage to go his own way and became world famous for being happy at work.
Big news: Every year since 2009 we’ve held a conference on happiness at work in Copenhagen. The events have been incredibly popular but also limited in scope because most of the talks were in Danish.
That’s about to change, because this year’s conference will be international, with all the talks and workshops held in English.
We have a great lineup of speakers and sessions. May 18 is a full conference day and May 19 is in-depth workshops. Check out the full program here.
The conference is for leaders, HR people and others who want valuable knowledge and effective tools that they can apply right away to make their organizations happier and more successful.
So grab this chance to visit the world’s happiest country for a truly unique, fun, valuable and intense conference experience.
To get a sense of the event, watch this video from our 2013 conference:
These are the 41 countries we’ve spoken in. Guess a flag :)
After our trips to Surinam and Dubai this month, we have now done keynotes and workshops for clients in 41 different countries.
That’s a milestone I’m really, really proud of :)
Here’s the entire list in alphabetical order:
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
The feedback was unanimous: Everyone LOVED Alexander’s keynote.
Electrifying, energizing, thought-provoking and relevant – certainly one of the best keynotes we’ve heard in a while.
After my speech at the Global Women in Leadership Forum in Dubai, the awesome people at Naseba (who arrange this event and many others) sent us that evaluation.
— WIL Economic Forum (@WIL_Forum) October 25, 2016
I am back after a 17-day trip to 4 different countries.
The trip started in Surinam, a small country just north of Brazil. Together with one of our Dutch partners, Gea Peper of The Happiness Bureau, I did a workshop for an HR network.
Surinam is currently facing an economic crisis, so we focused especially on how to create happiness at work in tough times. We were also guests on a Surinamese TV show called Panorama.
After that Gea and I flew on to Curacao in the Caribbean where we did another workshop for HR leaders.
The workshop ended with balloons :) We also did an interview with Dolfijn FM who have their studio right on the beach. Awesome! And of course there was time for a little bit of sightseeing. Curaco used to be a Dutch colony, so the capital Willemstad basically looks like Amsterdam in the Caribbeans.
From curacao I flew to New York City, where I met up with my awesome coworker Arlette to lead our 4th international Woohoo Inc Academy.
9 wonderful people from different US companies had signed up for the 3-day Academy and as far as we can tell from their feedback, everyone had a blast and learned a lot. The Academy included a visit to Next Jump, one of the happiest workplaces we know, and some sightseeing, including a guided tour of Grand Central Terminal and a cruise on the East River.
And following that I flew to Dubai to speak at the 18th Global Women in Leadership Forum, where I did the opening keynote on day 2 and particularly made the point that if we want to create happier workplaces, we need more women in leadership positions.
Here are some reactions from twitter:
— Mitren Chinoy (@nertim) October 25, 2016
— ???? ?????? (@kreidiehr) October 25, 2016
— Charlotte Chédeville (@ChaChedeville) October 25, 2016
And then I flew home. My internal clock is so fried, I’m not even sure I have jetlag at all.
But I’m also incredibly encouraged to once again have had the chance to spread the gospel of happiness at work in some new countries and to find so many like-minded people all over the world who agree that this is an incredibly important topic that businesses need to act on.
In fact, this trip brings the total number of countries we’ve spoken in to 41. Here’s the complete list:
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
We have just announced the schedule with an amazing lineup of speakers and workshops, including critical themes like:
- Finding and using your strengths at work
- How to have a happy career
- How to lead with happiness
- How to deal with stress and busyness
- Case stories from some of the world’s truly great workplaces
- How to create more democratic workplaces
… and many, many more great topics. Speakers include:
- Mikael Kamber, TV news anchor and author
- Traci Fenton, founder and CEO of WorldBlu
- Tim Dorsett, Culture Ambassador at Innocent Drinks
- Nic Marks, Economist and founder of Happiness Works
And of course myself :) See the entire schedule here.
Attendance is limited to 300 people, so better get your tickets now.