Professional Paradise: Oxymoron or Business Imperative?

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Health Paradise
Professional paradise. A lot of leaders I talk with say it must be an oxymoron. Even those who readily believe it is possible to achieve a constant state of paradise or bliss at work might think that finding or creating professional paradise in today’s climate of rapid change and uncertainty is ludicrous. However, helping employees find their own professional paradise is no longer an option for leaders—it’s a requirement.

What Is Professional Paradise?

When you’re in professional paradise, you are satisfied, energized, and productive. You work to your strengths, routinely perform at your peak, and produce positive results. Your interactions with co-workers and customers are helpful and productive. In other words, you are engaged at work.

Perhaps you think that professional paradise comes from working for a particular organization or having a certain job. This is most definitely not true. Professional paradise is a state of mind backed up with intentional action. As a leader, you have the ability to create an environment where staff members can connect to this state of mind. Employees want to be the CPO—chief paradise officer—of their jobs and need your help to get there. 

Take Yourself and Others to Professional Paradise 

So you may be asking, “If paradise is a personal matter, what can I do as a talent development professional to help others find it?” Here are five powerful recommendations for folks who want to provide others with the tools to get to and stay in professional paradise. They aren’t complex, and you may already be doing a few of them. The key to success is consistency and execution.


Become the CPO of your own job. People around you pay attention to what you say, your moods, your reactions, and everything else you do. Make sure you are in professional paradise yourself, and let folks know. Connect to what makes you satisfied, energized, and productive.

Engage in a viewpoint shift. Look at work through the eyes of those with whom you work. Find out what professional paradise looks and feels like to each of them. Ask each person what makes them satisfied, energized, and productive, and then give them the tools to be the CPOs of their own jobs.

Create safe harbors. Your intention to create professional paradise for yourself and others shows your respect for each employee. Generate trust through your words and deeds. By demonstrating transparency and open communication, you create an environment where staff members are free to tell you the good and bad news about their work.

Let folks know the score. When in a formal leadership role, directly connect employees’ goals with the organization’s goals. Then, keep people apprised of what those bottom line results are on a regular basis. Everyone likes to know how they are doing.

Master the art of delegation. When I surveyed people about what makes them happy at work, the number one response was successfully completing a project or task. If you keep all the good jobs to yourself, then how can your colleagues find happiness? A professional paradise leader delegates work, maintains ultimate accountability, and relinquishes authority to staff members.

How liberating. You now know unequivocally that you can work in professional paradise no matter what is happening in the world around you, and you have tools to create a paradise-like environment for those who work with you. You don’t need to make reservations, travel long distances, or incur great expense to visit this paradise.

Who wouldn’t want to work in professional paradise? To learn more paradise-building strategies, join me at the ATD 2017 Healthcare Summit October 23-24 in New York.

About the Author
As a keynote speaker, trainer, consultant, and author of four books; Vicki Hess inspires clients to take action by sharing high-impact, easy to implement ideas that transform the way people work. As a cancer survivor and victim of a surgical mistake, she brings the voice of the patient into her programs. Vicki holds a BS in nursing from the University of Florida and a master’s degree in human resource development from Towson University. She was an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University Graduate School of Business for five years. Vicki is the author of four books about employee engagement. Her writing can be found in industry and association publications including Hospital & Health Network, Becker’s Hospital Review, , Nurse Leader, and American Nurse Today.
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