Strengths Finder 2.0
by Tom Rath
The premise of this book is that people are happiest and most productive when their work is well suited to their strengths. Conversely, many people pursue the “path of most resistance.” The book includes a code to access an online assessment which will identify your top five strengths.
“Gallup has surveyed more than 10 million people worldwide on the topic of employee engagement… People who do have the opportunity to focus on their strengths every day are six times as likely to be engaged in their jobs and more than three times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life in general.” Continue reading
The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World With Kindness
by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval
You may not be familiar with the authors’ names, but you are probably familiar with their work. They are the founding partners of the advertising agency responsible for the Aflac duck campaign. One of them wrote the “I want to be a Toys R Us Kid” jingle earlier in her career.
Their message is that being nice (but not phony) in personal and professional encounters builds goodwill, which can lead to big and small rewards. Many examples are included in the book. Continue reading
The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t
by Robert I. Sutton
Assholes create a toxic work environment, destroying productivity. Sutton introduces the Total Cost of Assholes (TCA) metric. In the case of a salesman named Ethan, the cost was estimated at $160,000, including time spent by Ethan’s manager, HR professionals, senior executives, outside counsel, as well as the costs related to high turnover of support staff.
Sutton warns not to hire wimps and polite clones. “A series of controlled experiments and field studies in organizations show that when teams engage in conflict over ideas in an atmosphere of mutual respect, they develop better ideas and perform better. For this reason, Intel requires all new employees to take “constructive confrontation class.”
Sutton, Robert I. The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t. New York: Business Plus, 2010. Buy from Amazon.com