Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Book Review: 'The Optimistic Workplace' by Shawn Murphy

Optimism is the belief that good things are possible, writes Murphy, CEO of the consultancy Switch and Shift. That sounds like a minimum requirement just for getting out of bed in the morning.
In fact optimism is sadly lacking in too many companies where employees are treated like assets or resources, says Murphy. He explains how leaders and managers can create positive environments where work is meaningful and even energizing, such that employees plug into their jobs like electric cars into a charging station. (For a start, don’t assume that everyone in your company understands why what they do even matters.)
Murphy’s advice for leaders is to reject autocratic styles in favor of stewardship, a concept similar to servant leadership. Stewards, says Murphy, share seven defining characteristics including humility, grit, resilience, and vulnerability. There is no gap between their values and their behavior.
His concrete advice includes spreading around high-profile projects and celebrating milestones. Most critical is that employees be optimistic about what they can accomplish together. None of us is as motivated as all of us.

Editor's note: This review was written by Robert Morris and has been published with his permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.