New York Times Bestselling Author of Before Happiness and The Happiness Advantage
Happiness expert and keynote speaker Shawn Achor teaches the most popular class at Harvard—a class on positive psychology. Achor has earned over a dozen distinguished teaching awards at the university, and is the CEO of Good Think, Inc. In his speeches, he shows us emphatically that it’s possible to change not only our happiness, but also, and consequently, the way we view education, business, and personal growth.
Harvard’s Happiness Expert
After 12 years at Harvard University, Shawn Achor has become one of the world’s leading experts on the connection between happiness and success. Shawn’s research on happiness made the cover of Harvard Business Review, his TED talk is one of the most popular of all time with over 9 million views, and his lecture airing on PBS has been seen by millions.
Shawn has worked with over a third of the Fortune 100 companies, and lectured in more than 50 countries speaking to CEOs in China, senior leaders at the Pentagon, schoolchildren in South Africa, and farmers in Zimbabwe.
His Happiness Advantage training is the largest and most successful positive psychology corporate training program to date in the world.
Shawn is the author of New York Times best-selling books The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work and Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness, and Sustaining Positive Change, as well as Ripple’s Effect and The Orange Frog.
He has been featured in the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, Forbes, CNN, and NPR. Shawn was published in the top psychology journal last year for the work he did at UBS in partnership with Yale University to create a more effective stress training. And he recently did a two-hour interview with Oprah at her house discussing happiness research and perception of success.
Achor holds a Masters from Harvard Divinity School in Christian and Buddhist ethics.
The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance
Most companies and schools follow this formula: if you work harder, you will be more successful, and then you will be happy. This formula is scientifically backward. A decade of research shows that training your brain to be positive at work first actually fuels greater success second. In fact, 75% of our job success is predicted not by intelligence, but by your optimism, social support network and the ability to manage energy and stress in a positive way. By researching top performers at Harvard, the world’s largest banks, and Fortune 500 companies, Shawn discovered patterns which create a happiness advantage for positive outliers—the highest performers at the company. Based on his new book, The Happiness Advantage, Shawn explains positive psychology, how much we can change, and practical applications for reaping the Happiness Advantage in the midst of change and challenge. Back to Top Leadership Positive Leadership: Restoring a Culture of Confidence Confidence, trust and job satisfaction are at historic lows. When the economic collapse began, the world’s largest banks called in Shawn Achor to research how to restore confidence and forward progress. While many managers succumb to helplessness, with their teams and clients quickly following suit, Shawn researched those who maintained high levels of success and leadership during the challenge. He found that our brains create confidence based on the belief that our behavior matters to the outcome we desire. To develop this trust, we must create "wins" for our brain necessary to overcome learned helplessness and must train our brains for rational optimism. Based on the science of positive psychology and case studies of working with companies in the midst of an economic collapse, Shawn provides practical applications for raising the belief that individual behavior matters and helping leaders to keep teams motivated and engaged.
Positive Leadership: Restoring a Culture of Confidence
Confidence, trust and job satisfaction are at historic lows. When the economic collapse began, the world’s largest banks called in Shawn Achor to research how to restore confidence and forward progress. While many managers succumb to helplessness, with their teams and clients quickly following suit, Shawn researched those who maintained high levels of success and leadership during the challenge. He found that our brains create confidence based on the belief that our behavior matters to the outcome we desire. To develop this trust, we must create "wins" for our brain necessary to overcome learned helplessness and must train our brains for rational optimism. Based on the science of positive psychology and case studies of working with companies in the midst of an economic collapse, Shawn provides practical applications for raising the belief that individual behavior matters and helping leaders to keep teams motivated and engaged.
The Ripple Effect: How to Make Positive Change Easier
Common sense is not common action. This is because information does not necessarily cause transformation because we require a certain level of "activation energy" to start a change. Shawn's research in the field of positive psychology has revealed how changes in our own brain due to mindset and behavior can have a ripple effect to a team and an entire organization. This positive ripple effect can create a more productive, positive work culture making positive change easier. Audiences will learn about the latest scientific research on mirror neurons and mental priming to explain how positivity and negativity spread, case studies on how to become a lightning rod for change, and findings on how a positive ripple effect profoundly affects an organization's ability to transition and change.
Rethinking the Formula for Success: The Power of Positive Education
At schools and companies alike, we are sometimes taught to think: “if I work harder, then I will be successful, and then I will be happy.” This formula–which undergirds much of our educational and professional world–is scientifically backwards. Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage,explains how positive brains reap a unique advantage raising nearly every educational and business outcome–but only if we get the formula right. By demonstrating how happiness is a choice, we can help students not only cultivate positive habits and mindsets, but achieve higher levels of success as a result. Shawn’s study on 1600 Harvard students and his seven years as a Freshmen Proctor gave him a unique window into the thinking of success-driven and sometimes overwhelmed students. His subsequent work at schools and companies in 51 different countries now reveals how very simple changes to our mindset and habits can result in positive changes that cascade to others around us. Using his new research which made the cover of Harvard Business Review, interactive experiments, and humorous stories, Shawn shows how we can bring this research to life for our schools and for ourselves.
Shawn was the ideal choice and the perfect change of pace. He was hysterical, engaging and had the whole audience focused on how to make positive changes in their lives.
- | Insurance Industry Hedge Fund Investing Summit
Our expectations for Shawn’s talk at our recent H.R. Conference was quite high, given what I had seen of his “TED” talk and having read much of The Happiness Advantage – and all those expectations were exceeded! While I knew the content would be powerful and anticipated the delivery would be engaging, I underestimated the positive impact it would have on the audience beyond the conference. The attendees have been quite energized and have begun taking actions to be happier and more grateful in their own lives. Further, while the learning will be applicable at our workplace, I think the attendees felt the impact was transferable to all aspects of their lives (and their families).
- | The Wendy’s Company