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Conditioning Ourselves with the Positive

February 6, 2013

By: Ryan W. Quinn

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One of positive leadership’s essential features is creating a culture of positivity. Last semester, on the final day of class, I had my students read a blog entry from the Harvard Business Review that presented a compelling example of this tenet in action

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Teaching and Leading Positively, Part 6: Emotion, Imagination, and Purpose

January 31, 2013

By: Robert E. Quinn

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I had a dream. I was driving when the car in front of me stopped unexpectedly. I jammed on my brakes and stopped one inch short of its bumper. The episode filled me with so much adrenaline that I woke up. The event was a figment of my imagination, yet it triggered a physiological response that changed my reality. I moved from the condition of sleep to the condition of wakefulness. Lying there, I marveled at the power of my brain to create images of consequence.

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Teaching and Leading Positively, Part 5: A New Rule for Designing Meetings

January 27, 2013

By: Robert E. Quinn

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One reason I write a gratitude journal is to increase my positivity level. Sometimes it works. One morning after writing, for example, I drove to the University of Michigan, where I teach (as most Lift blog readers know). As I stepped out of the car, I was teeming with positivity. This is a big claim. How do I know that my claim is true? I know it is true because there was tangible evidence. First, I was full of joy. The feeling was real. Second, I had a huge smile on my face. The smile was real. Third, I began to change the world. The change in the world was real.

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Teaching and Leading Positively, Part 2: Where Change Can Happen

January 22, 2013

By: Robert E. Quinn

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The movie Freedom Writers is about a teacher named Erin Gruwell. She enters an impoverished school and eventually learns how to connect with her students. She reaches extraordinary levels of performance, and her students change. At one point, she reflects on her teaching and she says, “I finally realized what I’m supposed to be doing, and I love it. When I’m helping these kids make sense of their lives, everything about my life makes sense to me. How often does a person get that?”

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Teaching and Leading Positively, Part 1: The Digestion of Experience

January 21, 2013

By: Robert E. Quinn

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When I teach, my objective is not to transfer information to my students. It is to transform their identities. My history as a teacher tells me that if I can accomplish this objective, they will experience a huge jump in their capacity to influence their own lives and the lives of others. To accomplish my objective, I must have them do something unusual.

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How it All Began

January 12, 2013

By: Chris White


Professor Jane Dutton talks about how the Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship was founded, emerging out of the tragedy of September 11th, 2001.

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