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Hi Steve:

Glad to see you back in the saddle again. So much attention is given to the topic of customer satisfaction, it is often overlooked that the best way to please the customer is to have a great culture populated by a happy, engaged workforce. Great thoughts as usual Steve...


Hi, I discovered your blog through one of this searches. I've been following you since. I'm of the first kind (feeling good leads me to my highest performance). My manager doesn't know how to handle my post. In the last three years I made several proposals in a effort to understand the lines in which my manager wanted me to work. Some of them were refused, other accepted but I could figure out why. Even I asked politely for an explanation. None was given.
Now I keep doing my work, trying not to underachieve.

Leadership Training

Corporate culture has long been a topic of interest to me. Having recently posted a discussion on LinkedIn about creating and maintaining successful corporate cultures, I was surprised at the level of response I recieved. The amount of people that are concerned with 'workplace happiness' really has amazed me! I cant stress enough how important it is to promote a strong culture in any organisation, not only does it bolster the capacity for productivity, it promotes innovation, enthusiasm and above all happiness! Great post!

Miki Saxon

Hi Steve, one more important point, especially for managers.

Don't make assumptions about which someone is based on their perceived similarities to you. I find that people tend to assume that those they like or work closely with are "like them."

A New Day A New Vision

Happiness and satisfaction at work begins with a balance within the person's life outside of the office. When speaking to groups I get to see firsthand how improving each individual’s life balance directly impacts the quality of their work and their interaction with others. Having one happy balanced employee who is grateful for what they have while still striving for more - which is possible - is key to creating that productivity among other employees. That one person can have a positive impact on the entire work environment. Employers should be nurturing that balance of each employees life with education and opportunities to share positive motivating dialog amongst each other.


I think in todays age, employers can create happiness at work when they try to understand what the needs of employees are specially the young gen y employees. Happiness could mean different things for different people. In this video post "jack in the box" Vineet Nayar asks if the organisations are ready for Gen Y? http://www.vineetnayar.com/jack-in-the-box/


mike cook

Steve: I always look forward to reading your posts. Sometimes, like this one I am impressed by your ability to take something pretty complex (motivation) and make it easily graspable by the everyday manager. Is motivation more complex than you have characterized it here? Yes, no, maybe, who cares! At the end of the day as a manager my accountability is to do what it takes to insure the performance of the assets assigned to me by my company. The proof as always is in the results, and of course being honest with yourself about the performance being sustainable and an indication of people's true capabilities.

Joan Schramm

Steve -- A very thought-provoking post. The idea of people responding to different stimulii in that way hadn't occured to me. I'm definitely in the second group, and I'm wondering if the difference between the groups doesn't go deeper. Could it be that the first group, the "I like it here so I'll work hard" people are more group-, or team-oriented, and are motivated by feeling part of the "whole"? And the second group are more "I-motivated", like to work independently, and are motivated by individual achievement and success (while still contributing to the whole)?

As managers, it does open up more insights into finding the right motivator for each person.



Thank you for a great, thought-provoking post. I especially like the way you talk about finding ways that are natural for each of us. I've long thought that we need to explore both the systems and processes above the surface of an organization, and the below-the-surface cultures, behaviors, beliefs and attitudes. When people explore both of them in conjunction with one another, amazing learning, growth and development can take place.

Part of this exploration involves how we work and think most naturally easily as individuals. I so rarely read anyone else writing in this way--thank you! When we get curious about how we do things naturally, as opposed to the way we're supposed to do them, then we can find our work aligning with our lives.

I've been called a lot of good things, but a structured, traditional employee have never been among them. As I've discovered more and more what's natural for me, and have designed my life so that I can live that way as much as possible, I've become happier and far more effective at what I do. I see the same for those around me as well.

I'm glad I found your blog, and I'm looking forward to reading more!

Barak Rosenbloom

Debra Connelly

Steve - Great article! I would like to add that it is important for employees to be confident that they are aware of organization's rules of engagement such as employees being assured that they will be respected, given the tools needed in order to excel, and that great performance will be rewarded. vr Deb Connelly

Steve Roesler

Mike, thanks for stopping by and offering the encouragement. Much appreciated.

Steve Roesler


That's a difficult situation, for sure. Experience tells me that, at some point, either your manager will become more involved or you will seek, a position elsewhere. Keep me posted.

Steve Roesler

Leadership Training,

It's fairly amazing at the number of people who are concerned about a culture of "happiness." Thanks for sharing your LinkedIn experience with the topic.

I believe that what folks are looking for, as adults, is workplace "satisfaction"--the sense that they make a difference, their thoughts and ideas matter, and that their managers recognize their talents and capabilities.

Heck, that would make me happy. . .

Steve Roesler


You know, that's a point that isn't explored very often--maybe because so many people do it and think it's accurate.

The flip side of the coin is assuming that people who are different in some ways aren't actually very similar in other ways--and totally discounting them as a result.

If it weren't for the human condition we'd have nothing to write about, eh?

Steve Roesler

New Day

Your work is important. There is a new body of research highlighting the over-arching importance of "best fit" in the relationship between job satisfaction and productivity. This is the combination of personal and work balance relevant to employers and employees.

As for the part about being grateful: that is an individual choice, regardless of one's situation. Those who choose the opposite walk through life never satisfied, regardless of the circumstances. And they're toxic in the process.

Steve Roesler


That's really well said. Managers get paid for results and it's not an easy task doing it through other people; kind of like an orchestra conductor who spends every evening keeping people in tune, in key, in tempo, and all at the same time.

One thing I've been running across: the "how" results get done. Have a client who achieved "goals plus" financially but got dinged seriously for the human toll.

The trick is in the harmony, not just playing the notes until you get to the end of the song.

Thanks for that one. . .

Steve Roesler


It's akin to "The beatings will stop when morale improves."

Actually, it's a "what you lead with" issue:

1. Some of us lead with the heart to get to the head. We have to be captivated by something that is totally in sync with our values and purpose, and the sense of belonging enters into it more deeply than . . .

2. Others who lead with the head until it gets to the heart. We have to be intellectually engaged and see a result that prompts a feeling of satisfaction.

If you know your own starting point then it's easy to recognize someone else's.

Steve Roesler

Hello, Barak

Very kind words...thank you.

I like how you describe "designing your life." That's what it's all about. While we certainly are not in control of life's circumstances, we can look to what our purpose is and build a life consistent with that. It sounds as if that is exactly what you are doing.

All the best. . .

Steve Roesler


Interesting that you highlight "rules of engagement." It's difficult to count the number of times I've gone into an organizational "situation" only to quickly discover that those rules weren't explicit and that people were guessing; or, the implicit way of operating overpowered the rules that were stated.

Thanks for tossing that into the mix... important stuff.

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