A few weeks ago I got the opportunity to give a speech about a brand new (for me) topic: Why are we here, alive, in this universe? What’s the meaning of life? What is a good life and how do you get it?
Based on lessons from philosophy, psychology and neuroscience, I make the claim that the purpose of life is happiness – just not your own. I also talk about how to apply that in our workplaces.
Watch the speech and tell me if you agree :)
In this AMAZING speech from our International Conference on Happiness at Work, CEO Garry Ridge gives you a look “under the hood” of one of the world’s most recognized brands, WD-40 Company, where 98% of employees say they “love to work.” This high engagement has resulted in a company that has doubled in revenue in the last decade, and is on a trajectory to double again in the next.
Garry shares his “learning moments” from his journey to transform the company’s culture, beginning in 1997. Lessons and principles covered include:
- The personal journey of every servant leader, and why that philosophy is critical
- The emotional connection of a greater purpose that creates high engagement
- How to carefully and consciously choose values that will be embedded in all aspects of leadership and employee development
- The difference between a “team” and a “tribe”, and why WD-40 Company strove to create a cohesive tribe that spans 15 countries where employees work
- How company performance results are directly connected to its focus on people
Watch the whole thing – it’s phenomenal!
Here’s my personal favorite quote from his speech:
Leaders are champions of hope. Life is a gift. Let’s not send it back unwrapped. We have only time, talent, treasure, and technology to deal with, and none of them are abundant. So it’s our job as leaders to help people focus on the things that really matter and to take that hope to a real result.
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 you’re 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 don’t need when you’re 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 you’re 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 that’s when you’re going to do the best writing.
So any little emotional helpers, like crossing things off and seeing that you’re making progress. Anything that’s going to make you feel good is good.
I think that’s a brilliant point.
How do you hire the right people? And maybe more importantly: How do you avoid hiring the wrong people?
Calvin Johnson, the founder of Lykki, an e-commerce retailer based in Vancouver, shares some fun and innovative ways they screen and test job applicants.
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.
Watch what happens in this experiment where some researchers in Vienna made two dogs complete the same task but only “paid” one of them. It’s pretty hilarious :)
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.
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.
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.
Danish CEO and entrepreneur Peer Krogh had one main message for his employees:
”The 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.