The Future of Work from a Radical’s Point of View

The Future of Work from a Radical’s Point of View

Last summer I had this idea to find ways to bring the culture of my company, Nearsoft, out to the public.  A group of us started to put together some meetup groups to accomplish this.

Before I knew it, I was part of a social movement alongside some of the world’s best thought leaders on culture, emotional intelligence, and leadership. The social movement is more than just a noble notion, it is the civil rights movement of the 21st century.

As we began to develop the Radical Manifesto for the movement, many of us wrote what we individually believe is needed in the workplace to inject human dignity in how work is organized.

What stood out the most, so far, is how easy we use the word work. It has a negative connotation for most people, but it does not have to.  Work can be a source of pleasure, fulfillment, and excitement. 

The problem with work today, is that most people have a need to be duplicitous. One way at the office, and another at home. This isn’t working to serve our needs as human beings. We simply desire to not have to “act” one way at the office, and another at home.  Can’t we just be ourselves, all the time?

This is the future of work I personally believe represents the full expression of human dignity in the workplace, ohh and I am not the only one who believes this. You probably do too.

Beliefs

I believe in equivalence, transparency, empathy, and above all human dignity. To be a Radical is to first and foremost understand that people come first.  

Radical companies are in the people-to-people business and recognize relationships as the most important aspect of business.

I believe in the principle of everything you do is who you are all the time, there is no need for duality at work and at home.

Being a Radical means being yourself all the time, no matter where you are.  Being yourself means not needing to wear a mask, acting differently at work than you do when you are at home.  

I believe Radicals are free people who choose to work with each other, aligned around a common purpose.  

“Radicals are purpose driven who are committed to honesty, authenticity, and treating everyone as equals.”

Radicals believe the monetary value of what you do, cannot be determined by a third party, rather the worth of a Radical is established based on honest self assessment, based on measurable value that an individual knows he/she can be delivered.

I believe companies should only have the right to terminate an employee relationship, if that employee proves to be a threat to the collective well being, physically, emotionally, and financially.

While working for a company isn’t the same as being part of a family, employees should be supported to be successful and keeping with the belief of being empathetic and treating everyone with human dignity.

I believe when an employee is undergoing challenges in their lives, all reasonable accommodations should be made to enable them to get through it with dignity and integrity.

I believe when people take time to care for a newborn, an elderly parent, or a dying family member, that person should be afforded the time to do so without putting their job at risk.

I believe a gap in employment isn’t an opportunity for employers to lower the worth of the individual, nor should they discriminate against women or men who decided to take several years off to care for a new family.

I believe Radicals have a responsibility to be accountable to their companies by delivering value, proactively making a difference, and taking all the necessary steps to address any personal issues that may get in the way of doing so.

I believe when the individual is in trouble, the company is in trouble and vice versa.  I believe there is mutual accountability needed to maintain equivalence, transparency, empathy, and human dignity.

I believe that Radicals should have the right to choose how they will deliver value on their terms, including where to work from, what hours to work, and what days to work.

I believe in values based work output. Radicals are responsible for delivering value based on their mutually agreed expectations with the employer which align with their established monetary worth.

I believe leadership in a Radical company is a function of serving the greater good of the collective and is an earned role, not a given.

I believe hierarchy is a function of organizational value, not controls and much like leadership in a Radical company it forms organically by choice of the participants.

I believe authority is shared in a Radical company, and decisions are decentralized across all functions.  

I believe the roles of market facing roles such as the CEO, CFO, and other key C-Suite executives are decided by the collective of the Radicals and determine in a democratic way, by a majority quorum.

I believe that the cornerstone of being a Radical is leadership development, and in the spirit of equivalence anyone in the organization can run to be elected for a key market facing C-Suite role for a period of time determined by the collective, or until such individual is removed with human dignity from that role, not from the company, due to lack of confidence by the collective.

I believe that Radicals have the right to be happy, and find fulfillment in what they do, and therefore should openly be able to change roles within a company, as long as there is accountability to the tenant of creating and delivering value.

I believe that Radicals need to act as owners and actively participate in the co-creation of the well-being of all company members, which includes the financial health of the company, purpose of the company, and contribution to the betterment of humanity.

I believe Radicals have a responsibility to give back to the community, and the purpose of a company is to add value to society by offering products and services that make the world a better place.

I believe Radicals are socially responsible in their pursuit for profits and actively find ways to help those less fortunate, with money, time, and training.

Being a Radical is a way of life that embodies the human spirit founded on belonging, the need to be productive contributors to the well being of the human experience, and above all love for all people and human dignity.

I believe in embracing all people regardless of race, color, gender, beliefs, lifestyle, education, and economic background, and that all people have a right to pursue their own fulfillment.

Radicals align around purpose not organizations. I believe organizations are part of an old paradigm based on a command and control scheme that does not serve for the betterment of humanity. Patriarchy, as well as matriarchy are based on controls, not shared authority; both have failed to serve the needs of people.

I believe organizations need to be replaced by alliances, or partnerships centered around agreed to common interest purpose. I believe that the ownership of one’s own future is in their own hands.

I believe while no one owes anyone anything, interdependence is natural and healthy when it’s centered around the principle of equivalence, freedom, and human dignity.

I believe Radicals are not fixed on rules, and principles, but rather uphold the main tenet of human dignity above all else. It is this guiding tenet that gives license to evolve, and to be flexible.

I believe the concept of the organization is outdated and no longer serves the need of an evolving human experience towards a more loving, compassionate, equivalent and empathetic world.

I believe in radical transparency, whereas an employee has the responsibility to disclose their long term aspirations, and the company can gain value from the skills of the employee but can also support the employee to develop the gaps in skills needed to achieve such long term aspirations.

I believe employees should be considered and treated like a customer, bringing us back to one of the main Radical beliefs that developing lasting and valuable interdependent relationships is the purpose of all existence.

“It is a basic human right to be treated with dignity in all dealings of life.”

With a shift of context from a company doing business with consumers, or with another company to people doing business with people, and people hiring people, instead of the company hiring people, I believe this will create a more dignified existence for the entire world.

Instead of identifying a business as B2C or B2B or B2B2C, why not just be in the people-to-people business?  I believe future generations will adopt these Radical ideas. They are only Radical because they are contrary to a system in place that is based on the concept of self-sacrifice, which has not served humanity very well. You can read more about that in my previous blog.

What do you believe is needed to improve the future of work?

 

Why Being Selfish is in The Best Interest of Humanity

Why Being Selfish is in The Best Interest of Humanity

Emotions are the fuel of our lives. If you have no desire, you have no motivation. Often when following the idea of self-sacrifice and humility you end up stifling your emotions. They start going inward and being suppressed. In an unguarded moment those emotions can surface all at once.

In reality, if something unfair or unjust happens to you then you need to address the anger or frustration. If you don’t, you suppress it. And the suppression eventually harms your self-esteem.

I realized a decade ago that practicing self-sacrifice and being selfless, the two concepts central to perfecting character, according to most beliefs, are wrong. Instead of building honest, genuine character, those actions result in the opposite.

I was as spiritual as anyone else who went into doctrine as deeply and sincerely as I did. Yet I often found myself filled with violent emotions because I was following the doctrines of sacrifice and selflessness, something was terribly wrong.

Following the doctrine of selflessness and sacrifice caused emotions of rage within me. Those two concepts go against human nature.

This realization was my first major breakthrough in my journey towards self-realization. The concepts of selfish versus selflessness are so basic to human character and to our happiness that I want to elaborate on each.

Selfishness vs. selflessness

Many say selfishness is cold and leaves no room for compassion. I prefer to use the term self-interest because it does away with the negative connotation of a spoiled child. However, selfishness in its true sense is the correct terminology and definition.

The best way to grasp the differences between these two concepts is to demonstrate the character development and the behavior which results from each concept.

The contrast of selfish versus selflessness can be demonstrated in the hero versus the coward concept. Everyone admires the hero.

The hero

Strength of character

Principled behavior

Honesty

Self-confidence

Healthy self-esteem

Bravery

Self-respect

Stands up against great odds

Compassionate and fair in his dealings with others

Everyone despises a coward. “Wait a minute”, you say. To be selfless is not the same as being a coward. Since doctrine holds up selflessness as an ideal, people fool themselves as to what self-sacrifice really means. Because we have been so instilled by doctrine that selflessness is moral, we fail to recognize the consequences of such behavior.

The behavior of the selfless person is the behavior of the coward.

The coward

Puts others first and self second

Fails to stand up for themselves

Willing to sacrifice others, because they sacrifice themselves

All these characteristics cause resentment and anger toward other people to build up. In addition, they think others can be sacrificed as he/she sacrifices themselves.

The selfish person’s behavior is identical with the hero. The selfless person’s behavior is identical with the coward.

Selfish

Selfless

1.

Everyone admires the hero.

1.

Everyone despises the coward.

2.

Puts self first Result: Respects self, therefore, respects others.

2.

Puts self second Result: Taken advantage of, therefore, feels resentment toward others.

3.

In control and works hard to accomplish goals.

3.

Must manipulate others to achieve goals.

4.

A strong personality.

4.

A weak personality.

5.

Self-confidence and self-esteem.

5.

Lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem.

6.

Honest and forthright.

6.

Hides emotional reactions, therefore, not honest with others.

7.

Feels secure in and has no desire to control others.

7.

Feels insecure and desires to control others in order to fill inner void.

8.

Recognizes the individual as the highest value.

8.

Views the individual as someone who can be sacrificed.

9.

Compassionate towards others because feels a love and respect for self.

9.

Cannot feel compassion toward others because hates self for cowardly actions. Disguises self-hatred by projecting it onto others.

Consequences of selflessness

When working in accordance with our biological, emotional, and intellectual nature, we are a beautifully integrated whole beings. We are at one within ourselves. When we act at odds with ourselves the consequences can be disastrous.

An extreme example of how destructive selfless behavior can be, and how it can affect everyone in their daily lives is given here:

A few years ago a young boy about thirteen years old killed a neighboring child.

No one knew why he had killed the little fellow. Not the psychologist who interviewed him, not the counselors, not his teachers, not his parents.

But it was self evident. The TV program on this tragic incident stated the thirteen year old had been subject to insults and humiliations all his life from his school peers. He looked a little odd. He had offset eyes. About two weeks before the murder, the thirteen-year-old asked his stepfather what to do with anger. He was told to get it out in some kind of physical exercise, like a punching bag.

The boy bruised both hands in striking the tree in front of his house, but that action didn’t really address the cause of his anger. He had a justified anger because of the insults and humiliations he had endured. But strong anger by itself does not create a murderer.

His anger turned into violence because of the self-hatred he felt. The self hatred caused by not standing up for himself, and not holding himself up as a worthy individual.

In other words, he viewed himself as a coward and he hated the image. Violent criminals are known for their lack of remorse toward their victims. They cannot feel remorse because they feel no remorse for themselves. Cowards feel self-hatred and project that feeling onto their victims.

The selfless person lacks self-confidence and has a low self-esteem; because they let others take advantage of them. Because they do not stand up for themselves, they hide emotional reactions and therefore are not honest with others. They manipulates others through kindness or “feel sorry for me attitudes”.

Although outwardly they professes compassion, inwardly the are filled with resentment and anger which really is self-hatred, self-hatred for the cowardly behavior.

The selfless person can trick the mind that selfless behavior is moral, but cannot trick the natural biological and rational foundation of the inner self. Core to the true essence as a human being are emotions that need to be expressed.

The selfless person can never be centered and in harmony as long as they “act” selflessly. They lack self-respect and project that same lack of respect onto others. They also think others can be sacrificed the same way they sacrifice themselves.

What emerges from this picture is the inherent destructiveness of the selfless doctrines. The Inquisition, the Dark Ages, the many wars have not been aberrations but rather have been direct results of following the doctrine of sacrifice and selflessness.

To use a metaphor concerning selfless behavior, it’s like a pot of boiling water on the stove and the top is tightly closed. The boiling water represents all of your negative emotions you have stifled.

At some point the top is going to explode. Likewise, at some point your suppressed emotions are going to erupt. Examining those emotions makes one realize how destructive sacrifice is to building a moral character.

Benefits of selfishness

By comparison, take a person who is selfish. He/she stands up for themselves, so no inner resentment builds up.

They feel self-respect and extend the same self-respect to others. They have no desire to manipulate others but have the courage to be straightforward and honest in all dealings with others.

Because they like themselves, they are capable of liking others and feeling compassion toward them.

Selfishness includes the fact that you are moral and honest. You think of selfishness as doing things in your best interest with a sense of being moral. In other words, you don’t take advantage of other people.

People who think selfishness is cold and does not include compassion, do not grasp the full significance of selfishness.

Selfishness people are goal oriented. Strongly focused and very selfish with how they use time. The process of being goal oriented builds strength, and with self-knowledge you break with the selflessness hoax which has proven to be a false doctrine that leads to psychological turmoil.

Introspection allows you to trust your own judgments based on reality, and this gives you certainty about life followed by abiding joy and a tremendous relief that being responsible for your own well being is being responsible for the well being of others too.

“You can’t give what you don’t have.  You can’t love someone if you first don’t practice loving yourself.”

This holds to be true with anything else we do in life. I want to be clear that we are not talking about people who are narcissistically obsessed with themselves, we are talking about the importance of letting go of the notion of self-sacrifice. 

When you operate from the frame of mind that we are all interdependently connected, you begin to realize that not being good to yourself, means not being good to anyone. 

Being selfish is about putting value on the needs of human beings, the need to be seen, accepted, belong and be loved. It all starts with ourselves, by practicing selfish love, acceptance and belonging within ourselves, we can appreciate and recognize this in others and co-create a better world filled with compassion, and true love.

 

How I Found Fulfillment by Letting Go of Fear

How I Found Fulfillment by Letting Go of Fear

Our priorities frequently become scattered and filled with conflict, as we try to juggle too much at once. I discovered that by choosing a single life’s goal, that of sharing, or giving or being of service, I’ve become better able to focus my energies and priorities. This in turn has enabled me to find true lasting fulfillment in all I do.

This ability required a major shift in consciousness, and an alignment of the five senses to my supernal senses. Our five senses limit our realities, whereas our supernal senses enable us to feel love, and fulfillment in our lives. All the negativity surrounding us, for example, come from our limited five senses.

Judging people, for example, comes natural as a product of our five senses, and a manifestation of how our five senses, which include emotions and intellect, limit us and often hold us back from evolving and growing as human beings.

On the flip side, it’s more difficult to love people, especially those who try to hurt you. One of the greatest sages of all time said: “What good is in loving those that love you? Where’s the gain in that?  Love your enemies as you love yourself”.

What is the meaning of this?  If we start by loving and accepting people, vs. judging them, it will become more and more apparent that “other people” do not have to change for us to experience love and peace and fulfillment.  This also requires being able to forgive people, and yes that includes being able to forgive yourself.

 

Forgiveness

What is forgiveness?  Forgiveness isn’t what we perceive with our limited five senses, it isn’t what religion teaches that we have the power to forgive other’s wrong doing. What makes us better than the person we are to forgive? What empowers us to forgive them, as we know forgiveness to be? Even if we did have such a power, the purpose of forgiveness is not about the other person.

Forgiveness is about taking responsibility for our feelings, our reaction to how others may have wronged us; forgiveness is removing the blame for our own feelings from others. It is no longer blaming another person for our own reactions. 

“When you forgive someone, you set yourself free from the power you have given to him/her over you.”

Forgiveness is really about recognizing in ourselves the opportunities for improvements, it is realizing that others who push our buttons are actually performing a great thing for our own good.

When you look into a mirror and you see a scar, do you blame the mirror?  Do you say, I hate you mirror for causing the scar?  All the mirror has done is given you a chance to see what is part of you, the mirror is just the messenger.

Often people who seem to wrong us, push our buttons, challenge us, they are messengers unknowingly helping us recognize where we need to transform. 

“What bothers you about others is true about your self. You can’t recognize in someone what you are not.” 

Choice 

Sometimes we become so busy with life and complications that may have resulted from choices that didn’t go as planned, and it’s easy in these moments to believe that we don’t have choices. This belief is also a choice we are making. Everything we do is a choice. No one is a victim, but there are some simple questions to ask yourself to identify if you are choosing love or fear. These are the questions you can ask yourself:

Do I chose to find ways to love or find faults in others?

Do I choose to be a love giver or a love seeker?

Do I seek my happiness, or do I push it away? 

Do I see things for what they are, or do I see things for what I’d like to believe they are? 

We are what we believe. We are always either expressing love or fear.” 

Fear and love cannot never be experienced at the same time. By choosing love more often than fear, we can change the nature and quality of our relationships and our lives. 

A man seeking inner pease once asked Mother Theresa if he could fly with her on her way to Mexico City, with a gentle smile, she replied: “I would have no objection about your joining me, but since you said you wanted to learn about inner peace, I think you would learn more about inner peace if you would find out how much it costs to fly to Mexico City and back, and give that money to the poor”. What a powerful lesson in giving and receiving. 

In order to receive, we must give. In order to be loved, we must first love; in order to be rich we must first enrich others. Our ability to find love or anything we desire is in our ability to create an opportunity for such a thing to enter our lives. We create luck, we create love, we create happiness, we create peace, we do it all by sharing it with others first. 

Next time you blame your mother, father, upbringing, your job, your wife, husband, your children for your problems, think: Is it my ego excusing me from taking responsibility for where I am so I don’t have to do anything about it?  Am I really just trying to avoid the real work I have to do to overcome the problems I have.  Is the past just a way to excuse the work I need to do towards the future?

Letting go of fear is not about no longer being afraid. Fear is healthy, it helps us avoid getting burned near a fire, falling off a cliff on a mountain hike, and so on.  Letting go of fear is about taking complete responsibility for yourself. Being completely accountable for your life.

I found fulfillment in my life when I became accountable for it, when I stopped blaming circumstances which I was in, due to my choices. I found fulfillment when I traded in my victim card, with the “I am the captain of my own fate” card. 

The first step towards lasting fulfillment is to fully own and acknowledge that you are the captain of your fate, the creator of your reality, and you have the power to direct your life however you want.

The Future of Work is Purpose Driven

The Future of Work is Purpose Driven

Customer experience has become a top focus in recent years for most companies who wish to stay relevant in an ever changing and evolving world. A key requirement for improving the customer experience is understanding the customer’s past and current interactions inside, and outside your company.

How people relate with the world around them can have significant implications on how a company serves them. With the volume and different types of data we have available today companies can run more sophisticated analysis in more granular ways. The rich data available can help a company offer personalized experiences based on individual needs and preferences.

With more knowledge you can formulate real opportunities to drive higher customer satisfaction. Focusing attention on the company’s strategy to deliver superior value to customers is crucial to a company’s success, but what about the employees?

The employee experience

How is your company using employee data to better serve them? Does your company operate from a mindset of making the employee’s life better, along side that of the customer?

Companies have evolved in their ability to gather input from consumers, by means of many social media channels today, but how well are they gathering input from employees?

“Most companies are still operating from a command and control paradigm focused on getting output from employees, instead of input”

The conflict between the demands of the present and the requirements of the future lies at the heart of why a shift in how we work is needed for at least three reasons:

  1. The environment is which tomorrow’s success will be earned, is likely to be quite different from the environment that confronts organizations today
  2. To succeed in the new environment of tomorrow, organizations must undergo significant and radical change
  3. Adapting to change places and extremely heavy burden on the leaders of any organization, but more so in command and control environments

It is no accident that some organizations successfully adapt and initiate new ventures in a number of related product areas while others never seem able to repeat a single success.

The reason why some companies can’t seem to keep up is largely because what takes place within the organization makes a difference on how the organization performs on the outside.

Winning in the marketplace is heavily influenced by how well the organization makes and executes its choices, around the customer needs.

Customer needs are always changing and evolving. It has become commonplace to note that one of the hallmarks of today is change. Change is our constant.

Good leadership has an impact on whether what you have in place today will meet the challenges you will face tomorrow. Flexibility and quickness will count as much as vision and patience.

Empathy will become a strategic weapon to not only understanding the needs of people within the company, but adapting to those needs. Adapting to the needs of the employees will serve companies very well in their ability to change and serve customers.

Flexibility inside, enables flexibility outside of the company. When people feel their needs are being met, they will be more open to adapt to change to better serve the needs of customers.

“Whether you are a B2B or B2C company is irrelevant because the customers are people. Companies need to evolve to the people to people business”

Major corporations have economic platforms that are as large as some national economies, yet most executives and scholars think of them as firms to be managed with centralized controls.

Moving resources about like a portfolio of investments, dictating which units should sell which product at which prices, and setting financial goals.

Becoming purpose driven

Today’s and tomorrow’s corporations are becoming more and more automated and mobilized, and so are people. Mobilization means more choices, more freedom, and more innovation, if you know how to make use of it.

Rather than the traditional organization of permanent employees working 9–5 within the fixed confines of some building, the future of work will be comprised of a virtual organization made up of people who work together from anywhere, focused on a common purpose.

This future of work movement is almost as if robust ivy were growing over a building, destroying its aging mortar and old bricks, and leaving only the vine as a supporting structure.

“The replacement of hierarchies to social enterprise models is needed in today and tomorrow’s corporations in order to meet the needs of people.

People are customers, and people are employees and both don’t want to be commanded or owned. Managers can best prepare for this by learning to make a mental shift from hierarchy to enterprise. Shift from managing to leading. Shift from controlling to serving. Shift from command to shared authority.

We are witnessing not only a dramatic increase in the need for emotionally intelligent leadership but also a transformation in what we call leadership. We need to change where and how leadership is practiced.

For example, by collapsing hierarchies you can respond to faster-paced markets and push decision making further and further down into the organization.

There are many technologies that are enabling customer personalization, such as AI, but the real advancement will only come from a shift of context. The context shift is to move from organizations serving the needs of the masses, to people serving the needs of people.

Non hierarchical companies also mean that most of us will have to be across more functions and be sitting on more project teams throughout our careers. This will create more learning, more expansion, more experience and more engagement, translating to more loyal employees.

Part of the challenge moving in this direction stem from the education system which was built on the assembly line concept, to support command and control hierarchy.

“Traditional hierarchy will not serve the needs of the future — it’s too limiting”

The relationship of skilled workers needs to change and be organized around a purpose, instead of an organization. Supporting a purpose allows you to accomplish great things without needing to worry about the next project. This approach to work will give birth to an explosion of independent contractors, freelancers, and flexible alliances. This is already happening.

The move toward organic structures surged forward in the 1980s as corporations struggled to cope with racing technological and economic change. We used to go from the CEO to sectors, to groups, to businesses.

We now go from the CEO to businesses. Nothing else is in between. That is changing due to social media which has allowed consumers to have a say in the direction of your brand.

The shared authority enterprise

The pyramid has been turned upside down. The boss is the consumer. The next step in this evolution towards a purpose driven economy, is to turn the pyramid upside down inside the company.

“The future of work is to be in the people-to-people business”

Bare bone structures have been fleshed out with joint ventures among competitors, partnerships between suppliers and distributors, research consortia uniting entire industries, and other strategic alliances that form organizational networks.

However, in today’s and future Fortune 500 companies that have grown so large and complex, there is a an accelerated need to move toward decentralization and autonomous self managed teams.

These self managed teams can be treated as internal markets. Most people initially resist the internal markets viewpoint because it breaks so sharply from the traditional hierarchy. This concept represents a different mode of organizational logic needed to thrive in a world where people come first.

Rather than think of organizational units as divisions, departments, and other traditional hierarchical concepts, the logic of internal markets re-conceptualizes how we work.

The internal enterprise can provide the advantages of free-markets. Internal enterprises become accountable to performance in return for freedom of operations.

This shift in how we will work, does not change the need for hierarchy, but it does remove the need for one person to be in charge. The command and control paradigm we’ve been operating under for far too long, get’s replaced with shared authority models.

In a shared authority model of work, hierarchy happens organically, and by selection of the people those leaders are willing to serve.

In a purpose driven organization, I could be the leader for accomplishing a set goal, or purpose for a period time, and someone else can step into that role for another. The team shares the accountability and decides who will lead that can best meet the needs at that given moment in time.

The need for bosses, or control becomes obsolete in a purpose driven – people to people business.

“In a people to people business everyone is accountable to each other and everyone acts as an owner”

Oddly enough in a command and control world, one person has to keep tabs on everyone, people can and often do find ways to hide out, and coast while making little to no positive contributions to the organization.

In a shared authority purpose driven company, there is no hiding out. With the immense freedom of operations, comes the need to act as mature adults and contribute ongoing to the success of the team.

Sharing authority creates unity, and unity enables teams to accomplish great things in record time.

Companies operating under the old command and control way of doing things struggle to organize internally to best serve their customers.

Purpose driven companies with shared authority based self managed teams, have strong internal alignment. That kind of unity enables them to succeed at anything they decide to focus on.

The future of work of purpose driven enterprises not only benefits the people, but it makes sound business sense that will give companies a significant competitive advantage.

Happiness in The Workplace is Key to Success

Happiness in The Workplace is Key to Success

Productive work is the foundation for all abiding happiness and earned prosperity. Everyone wants to be happy and prosperous.

Productivity enhances a person’s sense of self-worth, self-esteem, accomplishment and need to make a difference. Being productive isn’t just about getting things done, it is an essential human need, which fulfills our desire to be co-creators of the reality around us.

The ability to co-create in turn enables one’s happiness, and happiness attracts success in every aspect of life, including wealth. However without gratitude, happiness will only be short-lived.

Gratitude is the first guiding principle that drives us to give back, without it, it would be like building a house without a foundation — it will hold up only until the storm hits.

Why is happiness so important in business?

Seven reasons happiness is key to the success of a business

1. Happy customers and employees talk to more people about their positive experience

2. Unhappy customers and employees talk to the most people about their negative experience

3. Happy customers become repeat customers

4. Happy customers will gladly pay more for the better experience

5. Happy customers and employees are very loyal

6. Happy customers and employees will drive your marketing for you, through social media and word of mouth

7. Happy employees are more productive, creative, innovative, open to change, loyal, and profitable

 

The pillars of happiness

(According to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA) 2007)

1. Autonomy

Feeling in control of one’s surroundings, understanding one’s own resilience, and feeling of empowerment.

2. Competence

Confidence in one’s abilities, knowing one’s strength’s, feedback from others on one’s performance, learning and growing skills, self-actualization and doing meaningful work.

3. Relatedness

Interacting with others, connecting with people and connecting people, giving to others/being generous, feeling loved, emotional security, acknowledgement and support (mentorship and volunteering).

4. Self-esteem

Your natural confidence level, something you can work on through cognitive behavioral therapy, meditation, self-realization, spirituality. It cannot be influenced from the outside world.

Five ways to create feelings of autonomy both with your employees and customers

1. Give people tools to personalize their experiences

2. Build tools that democratize previously inaccessible industries

3. Offer clear and attractive choices

4. Be open and transparent

5. Don’t lock people in

Five ways to increase feelings of competence both with your employees and customers

1. Create simple entry point to more complex systems

2. Allow ways for mentors to interact with newbies (create rewards)

3. Build consecutive levels of achievement into the experience

4. Plant ‘Easter eggs’

5. Don’t talk down to your customer or employees (never do it)

Five ways to increase relatedness both with your employees and customers

1. Build-in multiple ways to interact; social media is perfect for this

2. Have many collaborative experiences

3. Create simple ways for customers and employees to share with a friend

4. Design for generosity, give back to the community not just money, but time. This involves both employees and customers

5. Create online/offline meeting experiences; again social media is perfect to enable this

Five ways to increase self-esteem within your employees

1. Put an emphasis on positive achievements, and reward calculated risk taking

2. Set reachable goals by having them participate in the process of setting goals

3. Be ok to open criticism as a leader, in order to enable employees to see it as part of the culture instead of taking constructive criticism personally

4. Assist in handling workplace pressure by encouraging mindful meditation, yoga, exercise, and better nutrition, but don’t make rules about it

5. Provide training on leadership to all employees, not just managers, the more a person learns about leadership principles, the more they will develop self-esteem

Enemy number one of success is fear

Often we reach a cross road in business and in life where we begin to have fears, most of the time evolving around thought patterns such as:

Can I do this? What if I fail? I don’t think I have what it takes? What will others think? How will this impact my future? How will this impact my family? What if I don’t have what it takes?

These fears have nothing to do with the actual reasoning going on in the mind. These are simply the chatter monkeys in the brain, we all have them.

Most people think that what we fear is failure, but I am here to make an argument for the opposite. We fear becoming a success, or becoming “the go to” person.

Why would anyone fear becoming successful?

Because when you become that person, there is no turning back. You have to be willing to take criticism, which is where you learn a great deal about yourself.

You will get a lot of compliments too, which can be a slippery slope in making you think you can stop growing.

Balancing knowing you are amazing with humility and acknowledging that everyone is amazing too, is important but it is also equally important to realize that all you can ever accomplish is on loan to you from the Universe, to manage accordingly.

Most truly successful people exude gratitude and know that they are channels in this world, ambassadors of Light.

The fear that often kicks in, is in our ability to be a channel of such a Light in the world. It’s a big responsibility to step into that role.

Many people fear being successful, becoming who they are meant to be, not failing. Besides, failing is not such a bad thing, especially when you realize what it really is.

“Failure is just another successful ineffective approach.”

If science was scared of failing, we would have made no advancements at all; science finds solutions in the process of elimination.

“Failure is built into the success equation of science, and it should be no different in life, and in business.”

Happiness is a choice

Whatever the challenges, whatever the circumstances it is critical to choose to be happy in whatever process you are in. Your ultimate success towards your chosen path of productivity focused on generating values for others, depends on you making this conscious choice day in and day out.

Your business mindset needs to be powered by happiness. Why? A study about gamblers discovered that those who were the happiest won the most money.

“Happiness is a magnet for success, no matter how challenging a situation is, you can still choose to be happy.”

Be happy to be engaged in productive value creating work, and in turn this will attract the right staff, the right customers, and ultimately wealth.

“Truly wealthy people are not happy because they are wealthy, they are wealthy because they are happy”.

Wealth is not just defined by money, because the currency of wealth includes, health, family, friendship, love, understanding, compassion, self-esteem, happiness, money, and time.

Are you creating an environment that encourages employees to go for it all?

“True wealth is multidimensional, it’s in living richly in every aspect of life.”

Encourage employees to pursue their own aspirations

Challenge employees to identify what they are doing today, with where they want to be 20 years from now. A powerful question I have often asked when mentoring is: When you are 70 years old, and are looking back at your career, and your life, what will you be glad you accomplished?

Take careful notes, and then design with that employee a career path that enables him/her to achieve that goal by helping them identify how, and why what they are doing today will contribute to what they value the most.

Create career paths that challenge that employee to learn, and develop the skills needed to achieve their own aspirations, while adding value to the company’s aspirations. You need to not only be ok with the idea that someday your employees will leave, but support them so the grow enough to fulfill their own aspirations.

The more employees connect with how what they do, contributes to their own long term success (success they have defined, not you), and the more they sense your real interest in helping them achieve those aspirations, the more motivated, happier employees you will have.

Today many companies have the idea that they can create happiness by providing employees with fun perks, free lunches and dinners, and flexible work schedules, great benefits, and good pay.

All these things are great, and important, but let’s be honest, they are designed to help companies compete for talent, they are not designed with the employees fundamental needs in mind.

What are the fundamental needs to be happy?

Productive work is the foundation for all abiding happiness. The ability to co-create enables one’s happiness, therefore you need to engage employees to honestly tell you what it means to them personally to co-create.

“True happiness is tied to freedom. Freedom and happiness are intertwined.”

In a famous 1976 experiment, psychologists in Connecticut gave residents on one floor of a nursing home the freedom to decide which night of the week would be “movie night,” as well as the freedom to choose and care for the plants on their floor. On another floor of the same nursing home, residents did not receive these choices and responsibilities. The first group of residents quickly showed greater alertness, more activity, and better mood and a year later their mortality rate was half of the residents on the other floor.

Give people the freedom to add value on their own terms, and see the kind of magic previously unimaginable your company will create.

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