Reader Review by Mark McClure in Tokyo, JapanMid-Career Business Coach and Blogger, Mark McClure (Mark McClure Today), writes about Paddi's book.
The Best Business Book I Have Ever Read
For nearly 2 years (while I was in CCIE "do or die" study mode) all I ever seemed to read were Cisco Press books. And even now my forearm muscle memory cannot forget carrying those 500(!) page books on 2 hour round trip commutes in crowded Tokyo trains, with one hand on the hanging strap for balance, and the other carefully cradling the book against my chest.
On finally passing the lab exam and thus being mercifully released from that particular study treadmill, I then acquired an interest in personal development materials. Authors and their ideas came and went in my head while life and career continued to stream steadily by (yes, I began to feel more and more that I was observing events as much as participating in them.)
One book in particular has left a striking impression on me because it's basic premise is so ridiculously obvious and simple.
The book is called Building The Happiness-Centred Business by the self-styled crazy Australian Dentist, Dr. Paddi Lund. (But I quickly concluded that our Paddi, in his wisdom, is crazy like a fox!)
After reading about the toils and troubles in running his Dental practice (and noting with wry humour the sadly high suicide rate in the dental profession), I take Paddi's basic premise in writing the book to be:
I discover I had sacrificed happiness, to earn money ... that bought less happiness than I had sacrificed!
He then proceeds to do something about that and declares:
My goal became happiness at work.
I found it fascinating (and funny) how his experiments with creating a happiness meter led to most everyone in his dental team overstating their scores, while on the inside some were still lugging personal baggage of resentment through the working day.
I guess that was when he realized that a systematic approach to creating a working environment where happiness (and the associated emotional behaviour) could flourish between staff, especially in full view of the customers, was the way to go - remember it was HIS business and HIS happiness goal.
And so he goes on to introduce a stress meter and then eventually a systematic approach to creating a happy business environment where, "it is easier to use the system than to ignore it!" The book goes into some detail on his "Courtesy System - Revisiting The Simple Basics Of Politeness" as a way of demonstrating his belief in business systems that build happiness and profits.
I think Paddi is deadly serious (pun intended). He's figured out through experience that not only his own happiness but his sanity depends on having business systems that let him live his happiness goal (as much as possible) each and every day.
So this is way beyond some kind of "happy-dippy touchy-feely" book (I just made that phrase up!) - as you'll see from the examples in the book and on his website. In pursuit of that (very profitable) happiness goal he's gone where few dentists dare to go e.g. chopping up the reception desk, installing a real espresso machine, "firing" his worst customers and taking his business name out of the phone book!!
A truly marvelous and inspiring read for any small business owners or consultants who see a link between their happiness and business success. There is much to chew over here and then adapt to your own circumstances and desires. Certainly, give some time and thought to how Paddi's basic premise applies in your life or career. It has strongly affected mine.
And what if you're a corporate drone? A wage slave? A cubicle praire dog? (All said with a note of well-meaning but mischievous Irish humour Well, first of all remember that words and labels have real power to influence behaviours and beliefs - so drop any self-deprecating cudgels you may be dragging along and start seeing yourself first and foremost as a Tech Professional.
Better still - start seeing yourself as a "Tech Professional whose goal became happiness at work." And hence your journey will begin.
Mark McClure Today
PS - Attention Tech Team Leaders!! Check out Paddi's book because it will require both real leadership for most of his ideas to work within teams in the corporate environment. If the Team leader has "no clue" then many "self-aware" team members will eventually walk, though some will just tune out. And in the business downturn (or worse) that the US, UK and other countries are now experiencing, you are going to need every positive business advantage that is legally available!