Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Whistle While You Work

The CEO of CareerBliss says, “Being truly happy at work is one of the keys to being happy in life.”  CareerBliss is a company that ranks The 50 Happiest Companies in America each year, and it’s a list every business wants to be on.  Why?  Well, a study by the prestigious Wharton School of Business showed that being in a good mood at work helped encourage employees to be more flexible and precise in their decision-making, which of course is good for the company.  Also, renowned research company The Gallup Organization found that disgruntled employees cost the American economy up to $350 billion a year in lost productivity.  Wow!  All of this makes it worthwhile to hear the story of a company that has done its best to remain one of the best places to work for over a century and a half

As a young man in Germany, Karl was educated as an apothecary’s apprentice.  This taught him the names and uses of various herbs and chemicals for medicinal purposes.  He completed high school and came to the United States in his early twenties, and decided to go into the pharmaceutical business with his cousin, a confectioner named Charles.

The two men were able to purchase a small brick building in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn in 1849.  To establish their business, they got to work immediately on their first product, a new version of a medicine called Santonin that Charles, using his confection expertise, infused with an almond-toffee flavor.  The improved taste made the anti-parasite medicine very popular, and set the stage for innovation and forward-thinking in the world of medicinal research.

Over the next several decades, their business grew steadily.  During the 1860s, the Civil War created increased demand for painkillers, preservatives, and disinfectants.  The cousins raised their production to meet the needs of the Union Army, and it more than doubled their earnings.  In addition to medicinal drugs, the company also began work on some of the chemicals used in another important new industry:  photography.  And in the 1880s, the company became America’s leading producer of citric acid, a key ingredient in popular new soft-drinks like Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper and Pepsi-Cola.

The first half of the 20th century saw the company begin to produce citric acid without depending on foreign growers, become the dominant manufacturer of vitamins, and develop a process to make penicillin on a large scale.  Penicillin had only just been discovered, and it was modern medicine’s first major defense against bacterial infection.  Mass-producing it was a critical way to support US troops during World War II, and it was a turning point for the company and for humankind as well.

When confectioner Charles Erhart and chemist Karl “Charles” Pfizer founded Charles Pfizer and Company in their modest Brooklyn building, they couldn’t have imagined that the company would be one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies in the 21st century, nor that in 2013, Pfizer, Inc. would be ranked #1 on CareerBliss’ Happiest Companies in America list.  More than 100,000 employees were surveyed, discussing key job factors such as work-life balance, relationships with bosses and co-workers, growth opportunities and company culture.  Pfizer’s happy workplace is maintained through commitment to perpetual improvement, supporting employees in achieving goals, and by letting them fail and learn from those failures.

When employees stretch themselves and strive to achieve new levels of personal and professional success, they’re embracing the Everything is Possible Mindset.  When they not only work together, but also seek ways to empower one another, they are exemplifying the We Are Connected Mindset.  When every employee understands that mistakes are an integral part of success, they are leaning into the 100% Accountable Mindset.  And when leadership in an organization encourages a healthy dose of risk-taking so its people will learn from their inevitable failures, they will collectively succeed.  This is what I call a 7 Mindsets company culture.

Do you own or manage a 7 Mindsets type of company?  Do you work for one?  If so, congratulations!  Your company supports the 20% of people who say that they’re passionate about what they do for a living.  If not, when would be a good time to do something about that?  As we say at my company, The Time is Now.  My personal mission is to create a mindset revolution among students, families, and even businesses and organizations of varying sizes.  I’m looking for others to join me, all over the world, so send me an email, or message me on Facebook or Twitter if you are interested in joining the Mindset Revolution.  Together, we can positively change the world!

Until next week...

Live Your Dreams

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