How to Be Happy at Work: The Power of Purpose, Hope, and Friendship

How to Be Happy at Work: The Power of Purpose, Hope, and Friendship

by Annie McKee
How to Be Happy at Work: The Power of Purpose, Hope, and Friendship

How to Be Happy at Work: The Power of Purpose, Hope, and Friendship

by Annie McKee


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Life's too short to be unhappy at work

"I'm working harder than I ever have, and I don't know if it's worth it anymore." If you're a manager or leader, these words have probably run through your mind. So many of us are feeling fed up, burned out, and unhappy at work: the constant pressure and stress, the unending changes, the politics—people feel as though they can't give much more, and performance is suffering.

But it's work, after all, right? Should we even expect to be fulfilled and happy at work?

Yes, we should, says Annie McKee, coauthor of the bestselling Primal Leadership. In her new transformative book, she makes the most compelling case yet that happiness—and the full engagement that comes with it—is more important than ever in today's workplace, and she sheds new light on the powerful relationship of happiness to individual, team, and organizational success.

Based on extensive research and decades of experience with leaders, this book reveals that people must have three essential elements in order to be happy at work:

  • A sense of purpose and the chance to contribute to something bigger than themselves
  • A vision that is powerful and personal, creating a real sense of hope
  • Resonant, friendly relationships

With vivid and moving real-life stories, the book shows how leaders can use these powerful pillars to create and sustain happiness even when they're under pressure. By emphasizing purpose, hope, and friendships they can also ensure a healthy, positive climate for their teams and throughout the organization.

How to Be Happy at Work deepens our understanding of what it means to be truly fulfilled and effective at work and provides clear, practical advice and instruction for how to get there—no matter what job you have.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633692251
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Publication date: 09/05/2017
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Annie McKee is an advisor to leaders of Fortune 500 companies, governments, and NGOs around the globe. She is a Senior Fellow at the Universityof Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education and a coauthor of the bestseller Primal Leadership with Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis, Resonant Leadership with Richard Boyatzis, and Becoming a Resonant Leader with Richard Boyatzis and Frances Johnston.

Author social media/website info:;;;

Table of Contents


Life Is Too Short to Be Unhappy at Work 1

Happiness Is a Choice

1 Why Happiness Matters at Work 11

If You Sacrifice Happiness, You Sacrifice Success

2 The Happiness Traps 23

Myths That Hold Us Back

3 The Power of Purpose 53

Live Your Values and Make a Difference

4 The Power of Hope 87

Optimism Sparks Action

5 Yes, You Do Need Friends at Work 117

Love and Your Tribe in the Workplace

6 Hearing the Wake-up Call 155

Chart a Path to Happiness

7 Sharing Happiness at Work 187

Create a Resonant Microculture on Your Team

Expanded Table of Contents 201

Notes 209

Index 233

Acknowledgments 247

About the Author 251

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