28. Big Potential (Shawn Achor)

Screen Shot 2018-04-03 at 6.25.38 PM“Success in not just about how creative or smart or driven you are, but how well you are able to connect with, contribute to and benefit from the ecosystem of people around you”.

After reading The Happiness Advantage, I was quick to borrow Big Potential:  How Transforming the Pursuit of Success Raises Our Achievement, Happiness and Well-Being, placing it on hold at the library before it was even released.  My goal is to read a few leadership books amongst the fiction and this was a terrific change of pace after reading the Canada Reads short-listed books.

Shawn Achor’s newest book considers the importance of connection and working together towards success moving away from ruthless competition.  It is an easy read and offers everyday suggestions that can easily be adopted (such as writing a thank you note which not only makes others feel good but makes you feel good and encourages positive behaviour.

“Just as happiness is contagious, every dimension of human potential – performance, intelligence, creativity, leadership ability, and health – is influenced by those around us.  So when we help others become better, we reach new levels of potential, as well.  Rather than fighting over the pie, we can expand the pie instead”.

The book offers an acronym to remember the SEEDS of Big Potential:

  • SURROUND yourself with positive influencers
  • EXPAND your power by helping others lead from every seat
  • ENHANCE your  resource by becoming a “prism of Praise”
  • DEFEND the system against negative attacks
  • SUSTAIN the gains by feeling the “virtuous cycle”

Shawn Achor offers some positive suggestions to working with others but if you only have time to read one of his books, I would suggest that The Happiness Advantage is the strongest choice.  Looking for more?  Watch the YouTube video that has had over 2.28 million views and chuckle at his story about his sister, “the Unicorn”.

“The key to real leadership is inspiriting others to be leaders”.

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