Summary of The Optimistic Workplace

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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.

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 and passions.

Rather than managing people, coach and inspire them instead. Remove obstacles for them. In other words, serve them. Let them set their goals and help them take responsibility for achieving their targets. Foster their natural desire to contribute, share ideas and do “meaningful work.” Above all, infuse purpose in their work by connecting it to larger, shared goals and outcomes that fulfill people’s innate need for meaning.

Frontline leaders set the tone and “climate” for their teams. Is your environment fun and productive, or fearful and unhappy? Good leaders create an “optimistic workplace” by having conversations and building relationships based on trust, caring, coaching and connections. Get to know each employee on a personal level. Don’t let some dysfunction in the broader organization discourage you or slow you down. Create a positive environment for your...

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