Finding Meaning and Motivation in Work

Consider the following story of a meeting with interns led by a senior partner at a large accounting firm. Does it ring true for you? “The partner concluded the meeting by recounting the parable of three bricklayers who were rebuilding a church after it had been damaged by fire: The construction architect observed the three workers … Read moreFinding Meaning and Motivation in Work

The Simplest Explanation of Positive Leadership

“It is hard to be that nice all the time” complained a friend as we discussed the pros and cons of positive leadership. “And besides, people don’t want things sugar-coated. Sometimes they need tough love.” Quite a few people I meet have the same concerns about positive leadership, even if they do not say them … Read moreThe Simplest Explanation of Positive Leadership

Positive Organizing in Tough Times

Having a positive organizational culture is most important when things are not going according to plan. This is somewhat paradoxical. Many people expect that those workplaces with strong, positive cultures somehow have things go perfectly well all the time. Or if things do go wrong, that the situations get glossed over or diminished in importance. … Read morePositive Organizing in Tough Times

4 Efficient Steps To a Positive Culture

Creating organizational culture change can be hard. We may not initially have the skills we need. We have to sustain our energy and commitment to the change process, while continuing to fulfill our other job responsibilities well. We have to persist even through skepticism and resistance along the way. Oftentimes, we believe such change efforts … Read more4 Efficient Steps To a Positive Culture

Why Positive Organizations Matter

Creating workplaces conducive to human flourishing is one of the most important challenges facing the world today. Rising to this challenge will not be easy. One can paint a gloomy picture of the human experience in organizations today. Just 30% of the American workforce is actively engaged in their work. 99% have experienced or witnessed incivility in … Read moreWhy Positive Organizations Matter

Please Reject My Idea

When was the last time you made a proposal at work that was rejected? Was it quickly out of hand? Or was it “death by a thousand cuts”? This experience has happened to almost everyone at work. Depending on how it is handled, rejection of ideas can feel like incivility or even discrimination. It can … Read morePlease Reject My Idea

How to Avoid Being a Fake Positive Leader

There are sessions taught in some companies these days on “Executive Presence.” Such courses help high-potential employees to walk, talk, and look like a leader is meant to look. Whatever that is. Ugh. All too often, programs like these emphasize techniques people can employ to create a certain impression, rather than their underlying leadership principles … Read moreHow to Avoid Being a Fake Positive Leader

What Positive Leadership is Not

It drives me nuts. Few things make me crazier than when people misunderstand what it means to be “positive” in the workplace, and then project that misunderstanding onto others. Many people interpret positive leaders as being “nice” or “happy” all the time. While this may be true, being nice and happy all the time is … Read moreWhat Positive Leadership is Not

Healing Spaces: Values and Politics at Work

This is a time of strong emotions and opinions in the United States. Most likely this is true around the world. How do we create workspaces where people can express and have dialogue about how they are feeling, without alienating others who may not feel the same way? This is a different kind of column … Read moreHealing Spaces: Values and Politics at Work

Everyday Courage in Organizations

When you think about courage at work, what comes to mind? Maybe it is fire fighters going into a crumbling, burning building to rescue people. Or our armed services deployed overseas, facing the threat of injury or death every day. Or even a pilot safely landing a plane on the Hudson River in critical conditions. … Read moreEveryday Courage in Organizations