Profit from the Positive: Proven Leadership Strategies to Boost Productivity and Transform Your Business, with a foreword by Tom Rath

Profit from the Positive: Proven Leadership Strategies to Boost Productivity and Transform Your Business, with a foreword by Tom Rath

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You're constantly challenged to grow your business, increase productivity, and improve quality-all while reducing or keeping budgets flat. So what's a manager to do?

You've streamlined processes. You've restructured. You've sought customer and employee feedback. You've tried everything. Now, try something that works. Profit from the Positive is a practical, groundbreaking guide for business leaders, managers, executive coaches, and human resource professionals. Whether you lead three employees or 3,000, this book shows you how to increase productivity, collaboration, and profitability using the simple yet powerful tools from the new field of Positive Psychology.

Featuring case studies of some of the most forward-thinking and successful companies today-Google, Zappos, and Amazon, to name a few-Profit from the Positive provides over two dozen evidence-based tools you can apply immediately. Learn how to:

Set habits, not just goals Recognize the Achoo! effect Stop asking the wrong questions Hire for what's not on the resume Turn strengths into a team sport Preview, don't just review, performance

The best part? These strategies don't cost a dime to implement! Trained by Dr. Martin Seligman, who is known as the father of Positive Psychology, Margaret Greenberg and Senia Maymin translate the scientific research and make it accessible to the business world.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 191 x 231 x 28mm | 516g
  • McGraw-Hill Professional
  • United States
  • English
  • 15 Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0071817433
  • 9780071817431
  • 473,549

Back cover copy

"Profit from the Positive is a thought-provoking and practical guide to applying insights from positive psychology to the workplace. It's an invaluable resource for anyone seeking better satisfaction and performance at work."
--Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before

"Executive coaches Greenberg and Maymin offer over two dozen practical tools for running a more profitable business. All of their advice is backed up by science, tested in businesses large and small, and doesn't cost a dime to implement. The suggestions in Profit from the Positive are what business schools will be teaching in ten years."
--Shawn Achor, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Advantage

"Greenberg and Maymin have built an exciting and important bridge between compelling evidence and actionable practice. Profit from the Positive is a valuable resource for anyone seeking to boost organizational productivity and the quality of work life."
--Adam Grant, professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take and Originals

"Profit from the Positive gives the busy executive ways to improve performance immediately--in some cases by up to 50 percent!--without restructuring the organization or bringing in any consultants. Finally, a leadership book that bridges the chasm between what science knows and what business needs!"
--Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre Hotels and author of PEAK and Emotional Equations

"An excellent resource for leaders who want to fulfill more of their own and others' potential, Profit from the Positive is accessible, interesting, and based on solid research that can, and will, make a difference in you and your environment. If you are a leader, or would like to become one, the best advice that I can give you is to follow the advice in this book."
--Tal Ben-Shahar, author of Happier and Choose the Life You Want

"Profit from the Positive is a straightforward business book with tools that anyone can implement."
--Tony Hsieh, CEO of, Inc., and New York Times bestselling author of Delivering Happiness

"So many people are working from the negative side of the coin these days. Greenberg and Maymin have given you lots to implement here. Don't simply read this book. Absorb it."
--Chris Brogan, CEO of Human Business Works and author of Trust Agents

"As the third-generation president and CEO of our family company, I am a true believer in using positive leadership to help drive our company forward. This book provides some wonderful reinforcement for leaders to read as a reminder of how we should work with our teams."
--Cindi Bigelow, president and CEO of Bigelow Tea

"In their book, Profit from the Positive, Margaret and Senia offer some innovative ways for transforming a team, a department, even a company, to be more productive and profitable. They have turned some traditionally held notions on their heads, replacing them with ideas that turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones. Better yet, their ideas don't require any capital outlay or long-range planning. In many instances, after reading these inspirational suggestions, a business leader can implement them right away--that same day--and reap the immediate rewards of having a more engaged workforce and improved business performance."
--Greg Tranter, EVP, CIO, and COO of the Hanover Insurance Group

"Don't go to work without this book! Profit from the Positive is a revolutionary, science-based road map to business success. If you want to amp up your success, follow Greenberg and Maymin's unique prescription for driving phenomenal business results through the development of extraordinary employees. Get this book for yourself and every member of your team!"
--David J. Pollay, author of The Law of the Garbage Truck

"There are so many good and useful business and leadership books available. But this book is different! The authors cut to the heart of leadership attributes that can drive both results and team energy, create a focused, contagious atmosphere that leverages the strengths of employees, and inspire leaps in performance effectiveness and success. If you are a leader or aspire to be one, Profit from the Positive is indispensable reading."
--Kevin McCarthy, president and CEO of Unum US and EVP and COO of Unum Group

"A great read! The research on how our moods and emotions as leaders influence our team's productivity struck home for me. Being aware of this is more important than most of us realize. I found the techniques to neutralize a negative mood enormously helpful."
--Leslie Ashford, AVP of executive development at MassMutual Financial Group

"This book is engaging, enjoyable, and practical. Especially intriguing is the notion of turning performance reviews into positive events, borrowing from sports psychology by positively visualizing the year ahead and setting up the conditions for success!"
--Debra Palermino, EVP of human resources at MassMutual Financial Group

"Profit from the Positive is a must-read for managers at all levels. Using case studies from their coaching experience, Greenberg and Maymin demonstrate how to avoid costly hiring mistakes and create an engaged workforce--and they have the data to prove it. Profit from the Positive is written with the needs of today's world in mind. The practical and proven tools contained in this book, combined with its timeless wisdom, will inspire you for years to come."
--Laura A. Belsten, president and CEO of the Institute for Social + Emotional Intelligence

"Profit from the Positive is full of realistic, creative, practical, and effective strategies for leadership in the post command-and-control business world. It is a transformation handbook for leaders, teams, and organizations."
--John P. Tarpey, COO of Balfour Beatty Construction, US

"Greenberg and Maymin have written a must-read on how to power yourself, your team and your organization with easy to read and easy to implement strategies. As Aetna's chief culture officer, I apply many of the concepts, best practices, and action steps within our culture transformation efforts."
--Laurie Brubaker, CCO at Aetna
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Table of contents

Foreword by Tom Rath xv
Introduction: You've Tried Everything.Now Try Something That Works xvii

It's About the Leader

1 The Productive Leader: It's More ThanTime Management 5
Replace "Just Do It" with "Just Plan It" 10
Trick Yourself into Getting Started 12
Set Habits, Not Just Goals 17
Work Less, Accomplish More 21

2 The Resilient Leader: Give Yourself aPsychological Kick in the Pants 29
Don't Quit, Just Quit Being an Expert 33
Put on an Explorer's Hat 38
Win Debates Against Yourself 42

3 The Contagious Leader: Control Your Emotions,Not Your Employees 49
Recognize the Achoo! Effect 51
Tame Your Oscar the Grouch If You Need To 54
Don't Be a Control Freak 59

4 The Strengths-Based Leader: Capitalizeon What's Right 65
Stop Asking the Wrong Questions 68
Find Solutions, Not Faults 74
Know Your Strengths or No One Else Will 77
Part II
It's About the Team

5 Hiring: The Fitness Test 89
Hire for What's Not on the Resume 92
Predict the Future by Digging into the Past 95
Don't Overlook Your Culture's Quirks 98

6 Engaging Employees: Bring Out the BestVersus Get the Most 103
Don't Just Read the Book 106
Turn Strengths into a Team Sport 110
Don't Fire Poor Performers; Fire 'Em Up 113
Give FRE: Frequent Recognitionand Encouragement 117

7 Performance Reviews: Change 'Em or Chuck 'Em 125
Obsess over Strengths but Don't Ignore Weaknesses 129
Don't Make Goals Easy and Vague 132
Preview, Don't Just Review, Performance 134
Chew the Fat; Don't Chew Them Out 136

8 Meetings: From Energy Buster to Energy Booster 141
Start with a Sizzle 144
Practice the Peak-End Rule 149
Play Your Whole Bench 151
Part III
Putting It All Together

9 The Positive Deviant: Three Things I CanStart Today 161
Don't Resist Resistance 162
Start Small 163
Drop the Lingo 164
Use the Back Door 165

Appendix A: All 31 Tools Featured inProfit from the Positive 171
Appendix B: Is a Strengths-BasedApproach a Good Fit for Me? 175
Appendix C: Turn Strengths intoa Team Sport 179
Appendix D: Frequent Recognitionand Encouragement (FRE) 181
Appendix E: The Five FRESH Themes 185
Appendix F: Good Reads 189
References 197
Reading and Discussion Guide 213
Acknowledgments 221
Index 223
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About Margaret Greenberg

Margaret H. Greenberg is a sought-after executive coach by Fortune 500 executives. In 1997, after 15 years in the corporate world, she founded The Greenberg Group, a consulting firm dedicated to coaching business leaders and their teams to achieve more than they ever thought possible. She holds a BA in sociology from the University of Hartford and a Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) from the University of Pennsylvania. Greenberg lives in Connecticut with her husband and has two grown daughters.

Senia Maymin, PhD, is an executive coach to entrepreneurs and CEOs. Maymin runs a coaches network and is the founder and editor in chief of the research news site She holds a BA in math and economics from Harvard University, a MAPP from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA and PhD in organizational behavior from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She lives in California with her family.
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119 ratings
3.99 out of 5 stars
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