Jessica Pryce-JonesDo you remember what Walt Disney used to say about Disneyland? –That is was the happiest place on earth.  If you have ever visited Disneyland or Disney World then you will experience a culture of people that really love their work.

I recently learned that of the trillions we are spending on health care in our country,  that 70% of the dollars spent are allocated to five chronic diseases of which depression is one of the aliments.  This is a staggering amount of money being spent to keep our workforce happy and more productive.  What I am wondering is why are so many of us reverting to anti-depressants to just sustain our life, and why can’t happiness be a natural life occurrence?.

If you have some of these same questions, then you are going to love my interview with author Jessica Pryce-Jones about her new book entitled, “Happiness at Work“. In our interview together we explore the mindset that is part of a happy productive person and the associated workplace environment that fosters happiness.  Jessica spent over five years studying 3,000 people and compiling data on what creates happiness in the workplace.  She discovered that there are five main components of happiness at work, and they are:

  • Contribution: For individuals, this means achieving one’s goals, having clear objectives, raising issues that are personally important, and feeling secure in one’s job. It also consists of being listened to, getting positive feedback, being respected by one’s boss, and feeling appreciated.
  • Conviction: This means being motivated, feeling effective and efficient, showing resiliency when time are tough, and perceiving that one’s work has a positive impact on the world.
  • Culture: People who feel they fit well at work enjoy their jobs, like their colleagues, appreciate the values the workplace stands for, believe they are being treated fairly, and feel that they have control of their daily activities.
  • Commitment: Means identifying your overall purpose, finding meaningful work, being interested in your job, and believing in the vision of your organization. Increasing commitment is just as much an individuals responsibility as it is a corporate one–the company’s vision and strategies should be understood at every staff level.
  • Confidence: It’s important to choose jobs, goals, and challenges that push the boundaries of one’s comfort zone in order to grow confidence. Increasing confidence also means creating safety mechanisms and support when trying new and difficult things.

So, if you want a workplace filled with happy workers who are more productive, engaged and willing to contribute, then you need to read this wonderful book by Jessica Pryce-Jones.  You can also visit her website by clicking here to learn more about her company iOpener, and the studies she has completed.

Enjoy this wonderful interview with someone who know what it takes to make a workplace the happiest place on earth.

Jason FriedI thoroughly enjoyed my interview with author Jason Fried and founder of 37 Signals.  I have been a raving fan of his company’s software products for several years now.

37 Signals makes such great products as Highrise, Basecamp, Campfire and Backpack.  These subscription based services help the business owners organize and run their business more smoothly and effectively, (for more information on this business application software go to www.37Siginals.com).

Jason has co-authored this new book, “Rework“,  with his partner, David Hansson.  “Rework” is one of the best and most practical business books I have ever read. More importantly  Rework has been categorized as a business book, but it really  is no-nonsense advice, ideas, tools and practical applications to help anyone run both their personal and business lives with more sanity.

Jason’s motto is, “It’s simple until you make it complicated“. That statement really sums up what Rework is all about.  How to simplify and conserve energy so that you can be the most productive while still having fun.

In my interview we discuss the simple concept of embracing the idea of having less mass, which refers to the concept of not acquiring additional baggage, as you build your business.  Keep your contracts, inventory, people and staff to a minimum.  Keep your business streamlined, don’t get it over complicated and overweight with the complexities that businesses seem to acquire as they grow and prosper.  Keep lean, don’t get fat!

Jason says that less is a good thing, and that constraints are advantages in disguise. Limited resources force you to make do with what you’ve got.  I always heard the statement, “do what you can with what you got now.”

Many business owners, and especially in our current economic environment, are complaining about lack and limitation.  If you follow the advice of Jason,  you will probably look back at these economic times as an opportunity to be the most resourceful and creative, and probably come up with some awesome breakthrough ideas.

I can’t say enough about this book.  It truly is a must read for anyone in business or getting ready to start a business who wants sound practical advice on ways to control your destiny.  This book encourages you to take an introspective look at how you best should run your life and your business.

If you want to learn more about Rework and Jason Fried, I have provided several links to videos with additional information about Jason’s philosophy and a smart creative video that will touch your funny bone .

Big Think video

Rework Video’s

So do yourself a favor and get a copy of Rework, you will be glad that you did.

Jeff KleinI had the wonderful opportunity of meeting Jeff Klein at the recent Innovation and Humanities Conference in Orange, CA.  It was an inspiring to hear him speak,  and I was very impressed by his message and passionate delivery.  I subsequently have had several deep dialogues with Jeff and feel honored to know a man who’s mission is to help shift how we think about our work.

Jeff starts the preface of his book with a wonderful quote from Kahlil Gibran, “Work is love made visible”, and there could be nothing more true.   “Working for Good” has been written to support any conscious entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, leaders, and change agents at work who truly want to make a difference while making a living.

Jeff refers to as the essential skills of working for good as 1) awareness 2) embodiment 3) connection 4) collaboration 5) integration.  The combination of these five skills forms an integrated Working for Good system.

While each skill is connected and informs the other, there is a progression of development and application from awareness to embodiment, connection, collaboration and integration.  Awareness asks questions that seek to penetrate, to get behind facades and into the depth.  What’s going on here?

Connection begins with cultivation awareness–connecting with ourselves and working with our minds and hearts–and emerges as we carry awareness into embodiment, into action with our bodies.

Collaboration leads to integration and completes the full circle of the Working for Good system.  Integration is the dynamic process of combining various elements into a new whole that has its own presence and integrity.

Jeff Klein is truly a thought leader with a unique message, attempting people to understand that they have the abilities to apply new skills and passion to do good, and make a big difference through the work that they choose to do, no matter what the work.   As Jeff says,  “Awareness is the first step to becoming a more conscious leader, and with this first step we can all create work with a purpose focused in doing good in and for the world”.

I encourage everyone to not only read Jeff’s new book, “Working for Good“,  but to practice the exercises at the end of each chapter.  Jeff’s website is awesome and loaded with content, videos and downloads.  I highly recommend that you download the  26 principles of working for good.

Do yourself a favor and listen to this great podcast with truly a wonderful thought leader, then go to his website by clicking here and watch a couple of his video’s.  Enjoy this podcast–and start your practice of Working for Good.

Simon SinekI was introduced to Simon Sinek by Ariane de Bonvoisin, an author I interviewed in July 2009.  Simon’s new book entitled, “Start With Why-How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action,” is an intriguing book about the all important question we should all be asking ourselves before we do anything: “Why?”

Simon points out that some people and organizations are more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others. Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their successes over and over?  People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with, “why”? Their natural ability to start with “why” enabled them to inspire those around them to achieve remarkable things.

Simon studied the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world and discovered that they all think, act and communicate in the exact same way–and it’s the complete opposite of what everyone else does.  Simon calls this powerful idea, “The Golden Circle”, and it provides a framework upon which organization can be built, movements can be lead, and people can be inspired.  And he states that it all starts with WHY.

Any organization can explain what it does; some can explain how they do it; but few can clearly articulate why. WHY is not money or profit–those are always results. Why does your organization exist? Why does it do the thing it does?  Why do customers really buy from one company or another? Why are people loyal to some leaders, but not others?

If you want to learn this and more I highly recommend that you read Simon’s new book and learn about his “Golden Circle” model.  Once you understand the Golden Circle you will understand the importance of WHY and how the best keep getting better–because they ask WHY.  You can also access Simon website with more information about his book, and other offerings.  Please click here to access his website.

Alan BriskinThis is a wonderful interview with my good friend and author Alan Briskin.  We discuss the subject of his new book entitled “The Power of Collective Wisdom, and The Trap of Collective Folly“; the formation of community and the insights gained from groups.

From the perspective of the authors, collective wisdom refers to knowledge and insight gained through group and community interaction.  At a deeper level, however it is about our living connection to each other and the interdependence we share in our neighborhoods, organizations and world community.

Ultimately, this book emerges from a deep conviction that we all have a stake in each other and that what binds us together can be greater than what drives us apart.  Stories and historical examples illustrate how collective wisdom has emerged in a range of cultures, settings, and traditions, and the authors offer a set of practices to help the reader realize the key lessons of the book.

The phrase wise leadership seems like an oxymoron.  This book is so important, because it corrects a basic misconception that wisdom is not develop able.  It shows how wisdom can be cultivated through continual reflection, through silence and through connecting with the highest in yourself and others.  Second is that wisdom is not about just a few wise people but about the capacity of human communities to make wise choices and to orient themselves around a living sense of the future that truly matters to them.  Wisdom is about connection, connection to one another and to a larger whole.

I encourage you to take a journey with author Alan Briskin as we explore, “The Power of Collective Wisdom“, and how it can make a difference in your community and your life.

If you would like to learn more about his new book, please visit the Collective Wisdom website by clicking here.

Will Marre I have been a fan of Will Marrè’s for a long time.  His workshops and writings are fantastic!!! He is a joy to listen to and  dialogue with.

His new book entitled, “Save the World and Still Be Home for Dinner“,  is designed to enlighten and move his readers to action.  All of us can admit that we live in a world that is constantly changing.  Our lives have been moving at a faster pace, and we are looking for more meaning and purpose in our personal and professional lives.

Will’s new book ” Save the World and Still Be Home for Dinner” is written to get you thinking about your personal promise.  What is is that you would do to make a difference in the world?  What is your personal promise to yourself and your family?

Will asks you to “change how you think about change.”  To create a world of sustainable abundance which means to find the pulse of life we can maintain that doesn’t burn us out or exhaust us but enables us to be fully present in each moment filled with both gratitude and new solutions.

If we are to live lives filled with sustainable abundance, then as leaders we need to be Real Leaders.  We need to be responsible, ethical, create abundance and a legacy.  When we look at our world from a real leadership perspective our challenges become opportunities, and our decisions are made with the whole world in mind.

Will encourages individuals to know themselves, to dig deep within themselves and do some soul searching.  Why are you here?  What is your promise, and how can you fulfill it?

As the author articulates,  soul as I mean the word is not some poetic spiritual abstraction or article of religious dogma, but the core essence of who we are as living breathing, feeling, thinking human beings.  Our soul is the deepest dimension of our awareness, as silent intelligence that underlies all of our mental and emotional functions.  Our soul is not the object of our thinking.  It is the thinker.  The “me” before the thoughts.  is is the sacred essence of our individual identity.

So if you are looking to search your soul, and find a place within yourself that resonates with the essence of your being and from this place be moved to take action and make a difference in this world, then I not only highly recommend “Save the World and Still Be Home for Dinner” I also recommend that you watch some of Will’s great video’s on Save the World and Still Be Home for Dinner by clicking here.

You are going to love this interview with Will Marrè, and I know you will want to read this book more than once to really dig into the essence of the message.