Good Business: Leadership, Flow and the Making of Meaning
Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:
Since Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi published the groundbreaking Flow more than a decade ago, world leaders such as Tony Blair and former President Clinton, and influential sports figures like Super Bowl champion coach Jimmy Johnson have all been inspired by the book. In today's corporate upheaval, a new business paradigm is evolving. While many CEOs are being exposed for their greed, truly visionary leaders believe in a goal that benefits themselves as well as others. They realize that it is their vision and "soul" that attract loyal employees willing to go above and beyond the call of corporate duty. And their employees are realizing the same thing: while 80 percent of adults claim they'd work even if they didn't have to, the majority of them can hardly wait to leave their jobs and get home.
Good Business starts with the premise that this is an age in which business and work have replaced religion and politics as central forces in contemporary life. The book reveals how business leaders, managers, and even employees can find their "flow" and contribute not only to their own happiness, but also to a just and evolving society. It identifies the factors crucial to the operation of a good business: trust, the commitment to fostering the personal growth of employees, and the dedication to creating a product that helps mankind. Good Business is sure to become a must-read text for anyone who values the positive contributions of individuals in the changing world of business.
Asking business leaders to turn a profit in this climate is tough enough, but psychologist Csikszentmihalyi challenges them to do something even tougher: make people happy. The author first explored flow, the enjoyment felt when an individual is focused on a complex task, in 1991's bestselling Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, and he has often returned to the subject (The Evolving Self; Creativity; etc.). Now he wants to show business leaders how to foster flow and use their psychic energy to enhance the happiness of their employees, customers and even themselves. The advice book offers predictable but sound guidance to business leaders: know oneself, set clear goals for employees and consider the consequences of business decisions. Insightful quotes from figures like Aristotle, Dante Alighieri and John Locke provide some historical grounding, but mostly the author focuses on how modern businesses motivate employees and contribute to the common good. By conducting extensive interviews, the author collects the secrets of successful business leaders, including the Body Shop CEO Anita Roddick; McDonald's chairman and CEO Jack Greenberg; and AOL Time Warner's Ted Turner. Roddick, for example, says that looking at company's lavatories and cafeteria can reveal a lot about a firm's corporate culture and the happiness of its employees. If a firm fails to create a clean, healthy environment for its workers, it probably isn't doing much good. Csikszentmihalyi shows how moral responsibility, respect for the environment and clean bathrooms can make a business good and the whole world better.
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About the Author
Hungarian-born Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is the C. S. and D. J. Davidson Professor of Psychology at the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University and the director of The Quality of Life Research Center, a nonprofit institute that studies "positive psychology," in Claremont, California.
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