Shawn Achor is the New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Advantage and Before Happiness. He spent 12 years at Harvard, where he won over a dozen distinguished teaching awards, and delivered lectures on positive psychology in the most popular class at Harvard. Shawn graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and earned a Masters from Harvard Divinity School in Christian and Buddhist ethics.

Shawn has since become one of the world’s leading experts on the connection between happiness and success. Shawn has now worked with over a third of the Fortune 100 companies, and with places like the NFL, the Pentagon and the U.S. Treasury.

To do his work, Shawn has traveled to 51 countries, speaking to farmers in Zimbabwe, CEOs in China, doctors in Dubai and schoolchildren in South Africa. In 2014, Oprah Winfrey did a two hour interview with Shawn on the science of happiness and meaning. His research on happiness made the cover of Harvard Business Review, his TED talk is one of the most popular of all time with over 11 million views, and his lecture airing on PBS has been seen by millions.

 

 

THE HAPPINESS ADVANTAGE: LINKING POSITIVE BRAINS TO PERFORMANCE

Most companies and schools follow this formula: if you work harder, you will be more successful, and then you will be happy. This formula is scientifically backward. A decade of research shows that training your brain to be positive at work first actually fuels greater success second. In fact, 75% of our job success is predicted not by intelligence, but by your optimism, social support network, and the ability to manage energy and stress in a positive way. Based on his book, The Happiness Advantage, Shawn explains what positive psychology is, how much we can change, and practical applications for reaping the Happiness Advantage in the midst of change and challenge.

POSITIVE LEADERSHIP: RESTORING A CULTURE OF CONFIDENCE

Confidence, trust and job satisfaction are at historic lows. When the economic collapse began, the world's largest banks called in Shawn Achor to research how to restore confidence and forward progress. While many managers succumb to helplessness, with their teams and clients quickly following suit, Shawn researched those who maintained high levels of success and leadership during the challenge. He found that our brains create confidence based on the belief that our behavior matters to the outcome we desire. To develop this trust, we must create "wins" for our brain necessary to overcome learned helplessness and must train our brains for rational optimism. Based on the science of positive psychology and case studies of working with companies in the midst of an economic collapse, Shawn provides practical applications for raising the belief that individual behavior matters and helping leaders to keep teams motivated and engaged.

 

An amazing event! It was such fun and so stimulating to have Shawn at Facebook! As we strive to help the world become more open and connected, remaining positive and grateful for meaningful and productive relationships is essential! Shawn’s ideas and research is very insightful to us as we think about our mission.
— Facebook