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Home » Managing for Happiness: Jurgen Appelo at TEDxLille (Full Transcript)

Managing for Happiness: Jurgen Appelo at TEDxLille (Full Transcript)

Jurgen Appelo – TRANSCRIPT

They are seen as untrustworthy, narcissistic, inauthentic bullies and they drive you all completely nuts —  The managers.

Let’s say your manager is Bill. You want to negotiate for a higher fee or salary but Bill said that, sadly, there was no budget left, after he received his raise or bonus. Am I right? Or you ask for a better computer or work phone that he didn’t give you, and he emails his rejection from his glass fiber titanium case nuclear power station. Correct? Silly Billy.

I know these stories well because, I’m afraid to admit, I was a manager like Bill. In my defense I was actually a software developer. But I may have been so bad at programming that my teammates begged our CEO to promote me away into management. And like other managers, I had no clue how to work with people. I drove the business like a machine.

For me, software developers were computers on legs with hair. I sucked as a manager. And bad management means bad performance. Every company I worked for, collapsed. But somehow, everything has changed. Now people ask me for advice on how to run their businesses. And I travel the world sharing stories and practices. It all comes down to this: manage the system for happiness and offer products with meaning. We need companies to be purposeful. We want more Apples and Teslas and Amazons. Not to have your next smart watch delivered to you by smart drone while you’re driving your smart car.

Who cares? What we want are organizations that make lives worth living. We want businesses to offer us nanobots, solar power, gene therapy, quantum computing, medical virtual reality. Because all these innovations can be turned into meaningful products and services. But someone has got to manage this. And the purpose of management is making organizations valuable to people and planet. Sadly there is no single silver bullet to achieve this.

But I changed from a bad manager to a not-so-bad manager with seven silver bullets. Let me give you some examples. Let’s say that your manager is Taffy. Taffy wants to organize corporate lunch meetings where she feeds everyone pizzas and PowerPoints in the hope that afterwards all the employees would feel engaged. But none of your colleagues said: “Those slides full of bullet points were so inspiring!” And none of your colleagues said: “When is the next event scheduled in my free time?” Let’s do a quick scientific test, if you know managers like Taffy, organizing such meetings, at the count of 3, I want you all to say: “Daffy Taffy”. Ok? Here we go: 1, 2, 3!

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