Aaron Sorkin: “When you feel good you do the best writing.”

I’m currently taking an online masterclass where Aaron Sorkin, the legendary writer behind The West Wing, A Few Good Men, The Social Network and many others, teaches screen writing.

In one lesson, he underscored the importance of feeling happy while writing:

Remember, writing and painting a fence are two different things. Painting a fence may be back breaking work. But first of all, you know what youíre supposed to do. You dip the brush in the paint, and you paint.

But mostly, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. That light may be a long way away, it may be a really long fence. But you can see where it ends.

What you donít need when youíre painting is to be in a good mood. You can be in any mood you want and the fence is going to turn out roughly the same.

When youíre writing, you need to be in a good mood. You need to have energy. You need to feel entertaining. You need to feel good. And thatís when youíre going to do the best writing.

So any little emotional helpers, like crossing things off and seeing that youíre making progress. Anything thatís going to make you feel good is good.

I think that’s a brilliant point.

Hiring For Happiness at Menlo Innovations

Tech company Menlo Innovations in Ann Arbor, Michigan have a VERY different way of hiring and interviewing new employees.
They call it Extreme Interviewing, and it is not only much more efficient than the traditional approach, it also has a much better success rate in hiring the right candidates (and eliminating the wrong ones) AND it’s fun and engaging for everyone involved.

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We need more science in business

Yesterday I participated in the Copenhagen March for Science – part of a global movement to celebrate science and the role it plays in our live.

It was tremendously cool to march through the streets of Copenhagen along with hundreds of other science enthusiasts and it’s easy to see that it has never been more important to encourage the use of science in public policy given the challenges we’re facing (especially climate change) and the current unscientific and populist tendencies we’re seeing in some countries.

And the same goes in business. Many of the most widespread practices in business and leadership have been repeatedly proven wrong in studies and yet they persist. Here are some of my favorite examples of scientific findings that are being soundly ignored by many companies:

Don’t take my word for it – click each link above to see the research behind it.

Leaders and businesses need to know the science AND apply it. Ignoring this research is hurting employees and the bottom line.

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Our next Chief Happiness Officer Academy is sold out

Our next Chief Happiness Officer Academy in Copenhagen in June is already sold out with 25 participants from 14 countries and a long waiting list. Sign up here, if you want to be notified of future CHO Academies and learn all about the science and practice of creating happier workplaces.

But the good news is there are still tickets available for our big International Conference on Happiness at Work in May. It’s going to be 2 amazing days with a ton of inspiring speeches and workshops.

Read more and see the full program here.

Another CHO is born

Kristian Fischer, The Global VP of Professional Services at Tradeshift just changed his title to Chief Happiness Officer. Here’s how he announced it:

Yes! Finally got a new a new title – and I’m loving it already…

Strongly inspired by a great new book by Alexander Kjerulf I have taken a decision to change my title to (CHO) Chief Happiness Officer.

And that basically means that my main objective will be to make my colleagues happy. And if they are happy, so are our customers.

And if my customers are happy, I’m happy. And when I’m happy, so is my family.

What’s not to love…

How awesome :)

Here’s† my article on why every company should have a Chief Happiness Officer.

Your job: Make someone smile!

Danish CEO and entrepreneur Peer Krogh had one main message for his employees:

ĒThe most important thing is really this:

Have you made someone smile today?

If you have, you’ve done a good job.”

He passed away in 2013, but the company still has that message written in the office and on badges like the one you see above.

What a great example of Leading With Happiness.

Announcing the Woohoo Inc Fellowship essay contest

Are you passionate about creating happier workplaces?

We are offering two students the chance to attend our International Conference on Happiness at Work in Copenhagen in May free of charge.

All you have to do is write an essay and post it to LinkedIn or your own blog/website and then send us an email with a link to the essay.

The essay should be 500-1,000 words long and answer the following question: How can happiness at work help workplaces attract and engage young employees?

The contest is open to any student currently studying management, human resources, organizational psychology, or a related field at a university or business school. The deadline is April 27.