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Cultivating Positive Identities

November 20, 2014

By: Max Branson


“What is your vision for extraordinary leadership impact? I could get up and talk to you for forty-five minutes about what I think leadership should be, but at the end of the day, in order to make a connection between positive identities and positive leadership, the leadership vision itself has to be personal. [It has to] connect in some way to your source of inspiration. And your source of inspiration for leadership and action comes from who you are, how you see yourself, and the results you wish to create or contribute.”

With this message, Laura Morgan Roberts began her Positive Links Speaker Series session.

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Courage, Compassion, and Resilience Make Great Workplaces

November 17, 2014


Michael Pearn in the Huffington Post:

“The Center for Positive Organizations at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor is accumulating strong evidence that we perform at our best in positive rather than stressful or threatening environments. We do not have to risk burning out or being physically and psychologically unhealthy in order to succeed.”

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7 Tips for Asking Highly Effective Questions

November 10, 2014

By: Chris Murchison


Business leaders support individuals and help them perform their best. But providing guidance and feedback to others can be challenging. People have shifting interests, concerns, and worries. So as a leader, you cannot support people unless you know what they think and how they feel. And this can only be done by asking meaningful questions and listening deeply.

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Why It’s Time to Take This Four-Letter Word Out of the Corporate Closet

November 6, 2014

By: Jessica Amortegui


What’s love got to do with it?” Tina Turner made the question famously seductive. For many, it struck a truthful cord—in their personal lives at least. But recent research demonstrates the nostalgic phrase also extends into our work lives. In fact, if you have ever said “my boss is killing me”—and studies suggest that nine out of 10 employees have-—then you have been afflicted by the harrowing effects of workplace love.

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The Allure of the ‘Intrapreneur’

November 4, 2014


Chris White in Talent Management Magazine:

“We at the Center for Positive Organizations at the University of Michigan teach MBA students the skills to lead change without formally having the title of ‘leader.’ Many of the examples we use in teaching are of initiatives that represent ‘positive change,’ such as building a more humane workplace, developing products that are beneficial for less advantaged populations, advancing practices and processes that are better for the environment or creating a healthy relationship with the communities in which we work.”

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Don’t Start a Company with Your Friends

November 3, 2014

By: Adam Grant


When we’re launching a new business, we naturally turn to our friends. They’re the people we trust for sharing information and covering our backs. By recent estimates, 40% of founding teams include people who were friends socially before building their startups. But according to new research, starting a company with your friends is a risky endeavor.

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The Practices and Principles of Hope

October 28, 2014

By: Max Branson


Hope. Little word, big concept. In their Positive Links Speaker Series session, Oana Branzei and Neil Hetherington broke it down. Hope is “forward-looking, a passion for what is possible.” It’s “rational, practical, and warranted.” And if you cultivate it, it can be transformational. But how do you do that?

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Make a Profit or Have a Positive Impact? There’s No Choice to Be Made

October 22, 2014


Shirli Kopelman in Inc.:

“But over the last decade we’ve witnessed a new trend, especially amongst the men and women attending business schools. These people no longer are satisfied with only collecting paychecks and ascending the proverbial corporate ladder; now they want meaningful jobs.

They yearn for what is called a Career with a Heart. They want work to be aligned with their personal values. They want their jobs to positively fuel, sustain and energize their work over the long-haul. And instead of aiming for the often unattainable work-life balance, negotiating a career with a heart allows their personal and professional lives to complement and nourish one another.”

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Finding the Positives in Your Failures

October 3, 2014

By: Christopher Myers


Chris Myers–the Center’s Doctoral Research Fellow–on the positives of failure:

“We experience failures and setbacks quite regularly at work, and the question of how to make these negative events an opportunity to boost resilience is an important one. The environment that we create at work can have a tremendous influence on our ability to ‘bounce back’ and respond resiliently to a failure.”

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Does Testosterone Make People Greedy?

October 2, 2014


Dave Mayer–the Center’s Faculty Co-Director–quoted on the link between testosterone and high levels of greedy behavior:

“From the Lausanne study, it’s not clear whether testosterone levels control corrupt behavior, or whether high levels of it are linked to the presence of some other physiological feature that does. But even if it were definitively the case that testosterone is the root of greed, some are skeptical that anything can be done with that information.

“David Mayer, a management professor at the University of Michigan, points out that this research is similar, in spirit, to fMRI studies indicating which parts of the brain light up when a certain decision is made. But establishing these physiological underpinnings does little to solve the problem of antisocial behavior. ‘I wonder how these findings can be used to help leaders be more ethical,’ he says.”

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How I Overcame the Fear of Public Speaking

September 18, 2014

By: Adam Grant


Several years ago, I was invited to give my first public speech, and I made the mistake of saying yes. I was terrified: as a student, my heart used to race at the mere thought of raising my hand in class. For weeks beforehand, I had nightmares about forgetting my lines, waking up in a cold sweat. No matter how much I practiced, for the three days leading up to the speech, I could hardly breathe.

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The Opportunity of Management

September 2, 2014


Managing Director Chris White in the Huffington Post:

“But it is not all doom and gloom. At the Ross School of Business, our mission is to develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world. We define “positive” in this context as creating economic value, building great workplaces, and being good neighbors. While the three are completely interrelated, the work of the Center for Positive Organizations at Ross emphasizes the catalytic importance of architecting places where people can bring their best selves to work. We look primarily at the organizational architecture: how structures, systems, strategies, processes, practices, and culture can all be re-imagined to help people thrive. Financial success and impact on our communities are two other sides of this virtuous triangle of Positive Business.”

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