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.
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.
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.
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.
Good leaders put happiness first! Here’s a very short summary of my presentation on “Leading With Happiness” in The Netherlands last month.
We finally got a chance to visit Ben and Jerry’s global HQ in Vermont and it was AWESOME. Not only did we get to hear about the company’s mission to create a better world, see how the ice cream is made and visit the famous flavor graveyard – we even saw a man propose to his girlfriend in the middle of a tour. She said yes :)
Here are some impressions from our visit.
Proudly written on the walls: “Business has a responsibility to give back to the community.”
“If it’s not fun, why do it?”
The flavor graveyard is where Ben And Jerry’s celebrate their mistakes by honoring every ice cream flavor that failed. It looked very pretty in the snow. You can also find it online.
This is brilliant – instead of hiding or punishing their mistakes, they celebrate them. Here are 5 reasons why every workplace should do that.
All in all we got a very positive impression of the culture at Ben and Jerry’s. The employees we talked to clearly loved their jobs, they do their utmost to make great ice cream while protecting the environment and also have a mission to create “Linked prosperity” for their entire ecosystem, including suppliers, farmers and the local community. It’s inspiring to see a company so focused on creating a happier world, which is also why their mentioned in my latest book Leading With Happiness.
In this video Ken Blanchard and Garry Ridge, the CEO of WD-40 Company, explain why employees must come first. What a wonderful, enlightened vision for corporate leadership.
Garry will talk much more about that at our International Conference on Happiness at Work in Copenhagen in May.