Positivity Blog Introduction

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

This series of blog posts by George Mason professors and authors Dr. Beth Cabrera and Dr. Steve Gladis will explore how positivity helps everyone at work be more successful, from the guy who delivers the FedEx packages, to the people on your team, to the CEO.

Let’s start with a couple of questions:

-- What do people want for their children?  To be:

A. Famous          B. Attractive              C.  Wealthy               D. Happy

If you’re like most people, you chose “D,” Happy.

-- Why then do so many people pursue fame, glamour and wealth instead?


Answer: They “pursue” these things because they believe it will bring them happiness. For them, happiness is a goal or destination. They say to themselves, “If I can only get that promotion, then I’ll be happy.” These if-then statements are the wrong way to think about happiness. Look at all the rich, famous and beautiful people who are miserable—loads of celebrities end up in very unhappy places. Fortunately, recent research in positive psychology has identified strategies that have been proven to increase happiness.

This is important because everyone works better, faster and smarter when they’re in a positive mood. Happy people are more open to learning and adaptive to change than sourpusses or Debbie Downers. Positive people are more engaged in their work and engaged workers produce up to thirty percent more!

If you’re a leader, talent manager, HR professional, coach, or in any way involved with helping people at work, you have great influence not only over your own happiness and positivity, but over that of the people around you as well. So you can help others be more successful by figuring out what makes people happy and how to keep them positive at work.

That’s what this blog series is all about. Here’s what’s coming up, so stay tuned!

  1. How positivity leads to success
  2. Positive leaders spread productivity
  3. Strengths-based talent management

Positive leadership coaching

About the Author
Beth Cabrera is the author of Beyond Happy: Women, Work, and Well-Being and a senior scholar at George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. As a writer, researcher, and speaker, she helps individuals achieve greater success and well-being. Beth’s leadership development programs focus on strengths, purpose, mindfulness, and workplace well-being. After earning her PhD in industrial and organizational psychology from the Georgia Institute of Technology, she earned tenure as a management professor at Universidad Carlos III in Madrid, Spain. Beth later taught at Arizona State University and conducted research at the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Read her blog at or follow her on Twitter @bethcabrera.
About the Author
Distinguished executive coach, author, and speaker, Steve Gladis is a leadership expert. CEO of Steve Gladis Leadership Partners—a leadership development company—he is the author of 21 books on leadership and a professor at George Mason University in the Mason Institute for Leadership Excellence. His company works with businesses, associations, and U.S. government agencies, and he speaks regularly at conferences and corporate gatherings. A former faculty member at the University of Virginia, Gladis also served as an FBI special agent and was a decorated officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. His company donates a significant portion of corporate profits back to the community. His most recent books are Smile. Breathe. Listen: The 3 Mindful Acts for Leaders and Positive Leadership: The Game Changer at Work. Twitter: @SteveGladis Leadership Blog: Survival Leadership
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