Summary of The Optimistic Workplace

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The Optimistic Workplace book summary


8 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

8 Style


This business manual by professor and leadership consultant Shawn Murphy isn’t just another text about employee engagement and new-style leadership. It’s a useful, comprehensive manual that presents its content – even some ideas that are familiar – in a fresh, compelling way. Murphy makes a solid case for replacing autocratic managers with service-oriented “stewards” who focus on connecting with employees. He urges managers to help staff members link their work and their lives to values, purpose and meaning – with an overlay of accountability. He includes great charts and worksheets throughout and in an extensive appendix called “The Optimism Planner.” Using a combination of solid research and anecdotes about successful teams, Murphy teaches junior, frontline and midlevel leaders how to create happy, balanced, effective teams and how to build an “optimistic workplace.” getAbstract believes this actionable guidebook will help managers who want to build a “pocket of excellence,” even within an ineffective or bureaucratic organization.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why autocratic managers must give way to “stewards” who lead team members to better lives and higher performance,
  • What people need at work to feel engaged and to perform well, and
  • What positive steps you can take to build an “optimistic workplace.”

About the Author

Shawn Murphy is CEO and founder of Switch & Shift, a firm that consults on organizational practices and leadership. He teaches at Sacramento State College and blogs for numerous sites.



Don’t Manage; Instead, Support and Guide
Today’s workers no longer require a manager or supervisor who tells them what to do and how to do it. Modern employees need leaders or “stewards” who support and guide them and who create conditions in which team members can tap into their creativity...

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