Reading Shawn Achor’s The Happiness Advantage (“The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work”), “Find a Better Job” in the latest issue of TimeOut New York (yes, I have maintained my subscription just to keep up with life in the Big Apple!), and Glen David Gold’s novel, Carter Beats the Devil—the fictionalized account of the life of Charles Joseph Carter, at the same time spurs some thoughts on work culture.
Achor defines happiness as “…the joy we feel striving after our potential” and stresses the pursuit of positivity (positive emotions) as the key to success. He suggests a series of activities to help raise one’s happiness baseline from meditation to finding something to which to look forward to exercise. Two of his suggestions (Commit conscious acts of kindness and Infuse positivity into your surroundings) especially overlap with the TimeOut analysis of five New York City work environments. Common factors among the five:
- Openly encouraging creativity and innovation—listening to ideas from staff and making them a reality
- Providing a truly collaborative atmosphere
- Showing appreciation for staff in some way on a regular basis—making fun at work a priority
- Seeing the head of the company “in the trenches”—visibility and accessibility of the senior staff
- Creating an environment of continuous learning—everyone plays a role in sharing knowledge
So, where does Charles Joseph Carter come in?! He was an American magician known as Carter the Great during the early 1900’s. He spent his life making other people happy. Let’s create some “magic” in the workplace!