282: Creating a Thriving Work Culture through Eudaimonic Happiness, with Dr. Pelè

October 10, 2023

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Dr. Pelè: 

Hello happy people. Welcome to the Profitable Happiness Podcast.

Dr. Alise Cortez: 

Dr. Pelè, welcome to Working On Purpose.

Dr. Pelè: 

How are you, Dr Alise? Thank you so much for the invitation. I'm so excited to be here.

Dr. Alise Cortez: 

It's so wonderful to talk to you again. Book in my day with you. We started the day together at 7 am my time in Seattle, and now here we are, 3 pm my time in Seattle. So welcome back, pelle. It's the, it's Alise and Dr Pelle's show.

Dr. Pelè: 

There, you go.

Dr. Alise Cortez: 

So first let me just celebrate, as I like to do. Dr Pelle, you know both of us are authors and you know this is the latest thing that you brought into the world. It's beautiful. I've read it. You know, as an author, I'm always amazed what it takes to actually bring a book into the world. So congratulations to you. It is more than making a baby, just so you know. I've done both. So I like to say that anybody who's been listening at all is like all right, cortes, I know you were going to say that that's fine. All right, let's talk about where you came from, dr Pelle. You have just a really beautiful history and background that I really find delightful. That go into the ingredients of Dr Pelle. So if we can first talk about you know your upbringing, your background and specifically what you learned from your mother, so I know there's a lot you can share. So if you could just do that briefly so we can get into the meat of what you created.

Dr. Pelè: 

Yeah, no, I appreciate it. I like to think of myself as someone who has decided that I will burn all boats and focus all my energies on just one topic, and that topic is happiness. However, in trying to find a way in the world, it's not. It's not as easy to just say, hey, I talk about happiness. It's like you know what type of happiness? What, what? What happiness? What do you really mean? And so, luckily, there's a lot of evidence in research and science about a type of happiness that is actually known as eudaimonic happiness, which is different from what most people think about. When they think of happiness, they think of having fun and rah rah, and that's called hedonic happiness, seeking pleasure. But this kind of happiness is actually well researched. It goes all the way back to Aristotle. It's called eudaimonic happiness and it's about engagement, about finding that space of flow where time vanishes, but having meaning in the work that you do. And so I really, you know, sort of grabbed onto that, because it made a lot of sense to me. I'm a musician, as you can see from my guitar in the background and maybe my keyboard over here, you can see some of these things I do. I've written albums and I even have an album called profitable happiness that goes with this book. I'm a little crazy that way, I think.

Dr. Alise Cortez: 

Yes, you are.

Dr. Pelè: 

Yeah, everything's called profitable happiness, and so I decided to really focus in on the research. You know, my PhD is in organization and management, and so I'm really in line with a lot of the research I did way back when I got my PhD, when I'm thinking about how do you get organizations to have cultures of happy employees, how on earth do you do that, when we know that happy employees do produce profitable companies? Well, how do you actually make that happen? So that's been the question of my career and my life. And now the question that you asked is well, how did I get here? Well, if you don't mind, I'm going to take you all the way back to a jungle in Africa.

Dr. Alise Cortez: 

That's what I want.

Dr. Pelè: 

I know I'm going to take you all the way back to a jungle. In Africa In the late 60s I was a child, maybe two, three years old, and there was a civil war that had broken out between Nigeria, which is the parent country, and a small little tribe called the Ibo's that's myself, I was an Ibo child and the Ibo's are known for being very, I have to say, entrepreneurial people, very self very determined people. They really believe in themselves and they just didn't want to stick around and be part of the larger country. So they decided to secede. Well, now that they did that, unfortunately the West did not support them and it became a bloodbath. Nigeria was killing millions and millions of people and I don't know if you remember these black and white pictures with you know little children, the big stones of wash your or and flies buzzing around their faces. I was one of those children. We were starving, we were hungry, we were afraid of bombs killing us every day. It was a terrible time to go through, but we survived that war because of the strangest thing that my mother did. You know, what my mother did was, in the absence of food she couldn't feed us just running from refugee camp to refugee camp in the absence of shelter. She couldn't give us these things, but what she could do was the only thing she did, which was to sing to me and I say us because there were other people. You know it's kind of. You know the whole. It takes a village to raise a child. Everybody's always around in these refugee camps, and so my mother would just sing, and she would sing and she would take my name, pelle, and put it inside of a song, as though the song that she's written was written for me. And you know what this did to me. Besides the fact that it probably was where I started becoming a musician at the age of two or three, what it did was it distracted me from the fear of dying, it distracted me from the pain of hunger and it made me happy. And for some reason I found through that experience that happiness comes before success. You know a lot of people. You know Maslow's hierarchy. A lot of people will say that you know, if you want to succeed, you know, first you have to get your basic needs met. Don't think about happiness yet. That comes later. Just work hard and just make a lot of money and then someday you'll be happy. That is a misunderstanding of what Maslow was really teaching. In fact, I think that's one of the big misunderstandings in literature. He wasn't saying don't ever think about your happiness. He was just giving a sort of you know hierarchy and timeframe as a model. So I found that if you actually start with happiness, you'll end up with success. A lot of people think you got to start with success first, and so, because we were happy, we were able to form these positive, cohesive teams, develop habits as a community, support each other, help each other, be friendly to each other, even though people are dying left and right and over time, that happiness was one of the things that I think a lot of people attribute that to my mother. That really helped us to survive, as we were just a team of people being happy even though we had nothing to be happy about. So that's where I really grabbed onto this concept of happiness and music, and I've been fortunate to become, you know, a big podcaster like you and a PhD like you, and you and I are really in the same profession of helping people build cultures of purpose, as you do, and myself happiness, as I do, and all the tools that come with it. So that's my background. I got into this by the accident of a civil war.

Dr. Alise Cortez: 

Well, the reason I wanted you to share that, dr Pillay, is for two reasons. One, I wanted listeners and viewers to know you a little bit more. Like I know you as a friend, I also consider you a friend and a colleague and so they can understand just the very unique perspective that you came from. Because what you're drawing on is what Dr Soren Kaplan taught us in a previous episode experiential intelligence and I want each of our listeners and viewers to recognize that they have something in their background, something that they've experienced that's unique and special, that gives them a view on the world that is valuable and useful to teach to others, just like you have given to us. I wanted to do that first, so I wanted them to understand where you came from and then open the pathway for them and to invite them to come with us. Now, the second thing I want to do with your background is I want you to say a little bit about your father, his influence, because there's at least two things that I think he gave you that I think are really, really powerful. So, when you say a little bit about your father's influence on you, Dr Alise, may I just say that you're an awesome interviewer.

Dr. Pelè: 

We've never had this exchange before. I've always interviewed you on my podcast and I love your questions. It's just powerful. Thank you so much for the opportunity. You're so correct. I always attribute my love of music and happiness, my embracing of those things, to my mother, but my father, who, he himself, was actually a PhD from the University of Minnesota my father was really the one who taught me about the pursuit of excellence in whatever one is trying to do. Now, how did that happen? Well, back to the Civil War again. My father actually left Nigeria right before the Civil War broke out and came to America, to the University of Minnesota to study. So he did his undergrad, he got all the way to a PhD and he was basically stuck, couldn't come back because during the Civil War there was no way to come back. However, he had named me, given me this fantastic name, before he left, and the name is, of course, as you know, pele. I'm named after the greatest soccer player on earth. Now, how are you gonna do that to your child?

Dr. Alise Cortez: 

Right, best intentions.

Dr. Pelè: 

How are you gonna give? I mean, come on, I'm not gonna be. You know, look, I tried. I tried to play soccer, but I can't play soccer to save my life, okay. But you know, what happened is that in our culture and the Igbo culture, if you want your child to achieve something, you give them a name that they'll always hold on to and that name will inspire them, even if you're not around. And that's just one of the things that we do. We give names that actually mean something, that inspire people. So he gave me the name Pele because he wanted me to achieve excellence in my life. Okay, and that was his whole purpose for me. Well, it turns out that the reason why Pele. Just for anyone who doesn't know soccer very well, I'll just tell you why. Pele is the greatest soccer player on earth. He won massive. You know, he was the biggest player. He won the World Cup several times with his team in Brazil, and not only that. He was a very courageous person who always looked out for people. During that civil war, pele announced that he was going to come to do an exhibition match in the middle of the civil war in Nigeria. He left the safety and comfort of Brazil and he just told, you know, against all advice, he said I'm gonna go do that. So the amazing thing and this was captured in Time Magazine, even Henry Kissinger, the former Secretary of State of the United States, wrote an article about this amazing thing that Pele did to go to a civil war and play a soccer match. And so what he did was, you know, seen as bravery and really reaching out to you know, to the masses, to help other people. But the amazing thing is that both Nigeria and Biafra the civil war, you know the people fighting each other they agreed to stop fighting for two days.

Dr. Alise Cortez: 

Yeah.

Dr. Pelè: 

For 48 hours so that Pele and his team could fly in, play the match and fly out, and everybody watched people who were killing each other a day before decided to go watch this match together in peace. So that was amazing. So that level of excellence is really what my father was trying to give me and tell me it should be. Now, when someone asked Pele the soccer player why are you so good? What is it that you do? Look, if you've ever seen that picture of him kicking a ball backwards it's called a bicycle kick. He was the only one doing stuff like that crazy, crazy stuff. Jump in the air, kick a ball backwards and the ball would go into the goal, right Eyes, in the back of the head. It's crazy. So someone asked him how is it that you're so good? And you know what Pele said. He said everything is practice Three words, and that's. If you've watched any documentary about him and his father and how he grew up, you'll see that he truly believed that and he practiced that. That's how he became Pelé. So he didn't become Pelé because he was just the talented guy right, there's a lot of talented people. He became Pelé because of his discipline of repetition and practice and building habits, habits, that's where I wanted you to go so that's the word that Dr Alise has been trying to get me to say all day. Building habits is the path to any form of excellence, whether it's excellence as a soccer player or excellence in an organization. And so I became a musician instead of a soccer player, and I can tell you, as a musician, all we do all day is practice our skills, practice and get our habits going in our fingers. It's called muscle memory right Same thing. So that's my expertise. I am a habit maker.

Dr. Alise Cortez: 

All right, and so I wanna, just before we go into our first break here, because I wanna send people off with something specific I wanna situate what you say in your book and what you and I talked about this morning on our call here we are in 2023 now, and Gallup's most recent polls indicate that two of their most related metrics around happiness, engagement and well-being remain at an all-time low, with only 21% of employees engaged at work and only 33% thriving in terms of overall well-being. As you said, as we talked about this morning, those numbers have pretty much stuck for the last three decades. So this is what you and I are both focused on. So I want you, if you would, dr Pele, just to kind of quickly briefly situate why those numbers are important, and then we're gonna take our first break.

Dr. Pelè: 

Okay. So, first of all, they have not been fixed because people are not focusing on the right things. Right, I have a little parable that I like to share. It's the goose and the golden eggs, if you remember how-.

Dr. Alise Cortez: 

Yes, I do yes.

Dr. Pelè: 

Yeah, the farmer had a goose giving him golden eggs and he wanted to get the egg, so he killed the goose. Now that's terrible, but the analogy is the golden eggs are the results, the outcomes that organizations want, but instead of taking care of the goose, the employees, they focus only on the outcomes, unfortunately. So I think that's a debilitating challenge that all organizations have to cross. They have to start to focus on employees, and when we come back, I'll give you what I call the three Hs, the HHH strategy of focus that all organizations need to begin to look at if they want to start taking care of the goose, the employees, to get the golden eggs.

Dr. Alise Cortez: 

That is beautiful, dr Pele, thank you. Great way to go on to the break. And what I wanna send you, ladies and gentlemen, into the break thinking about is the power of a name, since what we're also talking about today is intrinsic motivation I want you to think about well, can you call your team, what can you call your company? That would be compelling, something that actually just makes you reach for excellence, or something beyond yourself, as Dr Pele's name is given to him. So if you would think about that and let's go on our next break, our first break, I'm your host, Dr. Alise Cortez. We're on the air with Dr Pele, who is an educator, a musician, bestselling author and the founder of Profitable Happiness. We're talking a bit about where he came from, where his ideas came from and why this is now important. Now we're gonna get into, after the break, some of his key principles as to how to actually make it happen. Stay with us, we'll be right back.

Dr. Pelè: 

Now, if you're just joining us my guest is Dr Pele.

Dr. Alise Cortez: 

He's the founder of Profitable Happiness. We're talking about his latest book on the topic, in the system and software he's devised to enable companies to achieve Profitable Happiness. I'm your host, Dr. Alise Cortez, so let's get further into this, shall we? I wanna start giving our listeners and viewers a little bit more of the science and some of your methodology that you've created. Of course, you know I love anything research-oriented. I love your methodology. You know I align with your methodology, so I wanna be able to give our listeners and viewers some of the meat so they can walk away already enabled to start to use this stuff. So first, you, like me, do this thing where you get research because of the episodes that you do, right? So I read the books, you read the books and that is a form of your research. So you have talked about how you have developed some pitiful insights from guests and that has actually supported your research, and that you actually have found this model of an acronym of happy that represents these five key employee habits that organizations need to build cultures of high performance around. I think it makes sense to start there. What is this happy acronym all about?

Dr. Pelè: 

Yeah, no, no great question. First of all, the happy acronym while some people may think it's trite, is designed precisely for the purpose of making sure nobody forgets it, Right? So it may be, oh, he's got an acronym called happy, yeah, but you're never gonna forget that I have an acronym called happy, right.

Dr. Alise Cortez: 

It goes with you.

Dr. Pelè: 

It just goes with you. So that's the purpose of developing the menomic, the acronym HAPPY. Now, what it actually stands for are the various elements that create engagement, the various elements that create positive well-being in organizations, happier employees and so on and so forth. So, if you go back to the analogy that we shared about the goose and the golden eggs, think of the goose as the employees and then, of course, the golden eggs as the outcome, such as sales results, business results and so on, of employees. If you kill the goose, you're gonna lose the outcomes. Right, and that's what happens when leaders ignore the well-being of their employees. They're essentially killing the goose. So in order to make that goose healthy, we need to focus on five elements based on research. Number one is, of course, happiness, but not hedonic happiness, eudaimonic happiness, the kind of happiness that's closer tied to engagement and flow and so on. And if you wanna know the truth, I didn't wanna call my book eudaimonic happiness. I really lost the crowd. I'm not sure it sounds very good, but that's what the science teaches us. So I called it profitable happiness. That's where that name came from. And then the next thing is appreciation. So H is for profitable happiness, eudaimonic happiness, and A is for appreciation. Research, study after study shows, and even common sense shows us, that when a human being feels appreciated, they will go the extra mile, they will do better than they even thought they were gonna do, because, guess what, somebody cares about what I'm about to do or about what I've been doing. And the kind of appreciation that carries the most weight sure, peer appreciation is fine and so on, but the kind of appreciation that really connects with people is the type that is given by managers. Yes, now, appreciation is really of two types. You do a great job and you have done a great job. Right, there's what you've done versus who you are. And when managers are able to really help their employees feel appreciated as a daily practice, they are really creating a productive employee, and that's an important number two. Number three is pride. Pride is another feeling, very, very under-researched, if I may say that there's not a lot of hard research on this, but a lot of people have done great. You know distributions on this and I've read a lot of them, and you know, we've found that if a person feels by the way, again, there are two types of pride. There's a negative kind of pride, right, a hubristic I'm the best in the world, ha ha ha. Type of pride, and we know some leaders who act that way. Right, we're not gonna go there. So there's the kind of pride. But then there's another kind of pride, which is a really strong satisfaction and belief in positive feeling around the work one does or around the company that one works for. So I'm proud of my work, I'm proud of my company in a positive way. That's the kind of pride that we're talking about, and what makes that pride possible again is when people give recognition, especially when leaders and managers give recognition to employees, that pride swells up within them and makes them wanna even go beyond and do even greater things. So that's the HAP, and the fourth is the P, the second P, which is participate participation. A lot of people talk about employee experience. In fact, I would say there was a battle between employee experience and employee engagement, and employee experience is winning right now.

Dr. Alise Cortez: 

Yes, it is.

Dr. Pelè: 

People seem to see that as the more powerful force of companies. And it's all good, I say they're all important. But employee experience right, is impotent without employees creating that experience. This is the challenge that a lot of organizations don't understand. You can't just command and control, come down from the high mountain and say this is your experience. Guess what? How about you invite those employees to participate in creating that employee experience? When they take ownership of it, they will love it. And that's the simple approach that I take, with this idea of participation being so important. And the last thing, which is the why is for yardsticks, which means measure everything, measure anything that you want to turn into a culture or a habit. You gotta measure it. Peter Drucker once said what we measure is what will be improved. I think I'm paraphrasing, but he said what gets measured gets improved. I would agree, but I think a more powerful statement would be what gets measured becomes a habit Because you're always thinking about it, you're always doing it, you're always measuring it Before you know it. The power of habits, the psychological and cerebral and brain power of habits, muscle memory takes over and you now have a thing that everybody just automatically does. So when you measure things all the time. You're building cultures, you're building habits, and so that's what I have built. My entire book, my software and my practice around is helping people implement HAPPY.

Dr. Alise Cortez: 

Gorgeous, so beautiful. You know I line with all that. Okay, now I gotta tell you I learned so much from you and your book about habit formation. My friend, thank you for that. So, if you would, I want you to take us into the ABC of habit creation.

Dr. Pelè: 

Wow, I love how you put it as ABC, because that is really what it is. Now, for those who don't think they're as much of a nerd as Dr Alise or myself, I'm gonna try to talk about what ABC means, because it is really the center of habits, but not a lot of people are aware of that. In something called organizational behavior management or OBM, or just the practice of helping people change behavior, even if it's in a home where people who are challenged with behavior are brought to, abc is applied to them to help them build new habits. It's a well science backed, proven approach to behavior change and creation and modification. Now, what does ABC stand for? It stands for the three stages of any behavior. The first is what happens before a behavior. It's called the antecedent A. The second is the behavior itself and the third is what happens after a behavior, which is the consequence. Now, if you go all the way back to Pavlov, for example, where he was bringing dogs and I can't remember what, monkeys, maybe different animals, and maybe he would give them a little antecedent, here's the food and that would act as the thing that comes before the behavior that Pavlov wanted, and they would get the food, do the behavior and then they would get a good consequence. And if they didn't do the right behavior, they would get a bad consequence. So this is how you create behavior in all, not only humans, but animals. So ABC is a well-known acronym and approach. Now, if you want to build habits proactively with human beings, you got to go beyond ABC. Now, this is what you will not find in the literature, but you will find it in my book. What you need to do is you need to make every stage of the ABC system desirable, because if you don't do that, you're gonna have apathy. You're gonna have people not wanting to deal with making habits. Look, I gotta tell you, making habits is not easy. It's hard work. You have to challenge yourself. Oh, I gotta get up right now and go take that walk, or oh, I gotta. You know it's hard work, a lot of mental energy. So if you don't make it desirable, it'll never get done. No habit will be formed. So how do you make the ABC desirable? A, make it, get your attention. So when it's time to do that new behavior, get their attention. Whether it's a loud bell that rings or it's a sweetening of the incentives that make you want to do it, whatever it is, get attention. Then they do the behavior. While they're doing the behavior, most people will quit because they get tired, lack of motivation or something else. So you need to provide them a belief that's the B, a belief system, motivation to continue. And then at the end, when it's time for a consequence that'll make them want to go back and do the behavior, make sure it's a positive consequence, make sure it's a celebration, because when people celebrate, that's a C. When people celebrate they get the positive and the more endorphins they feel the pride, they feel the appreciation. All of those things make them want to do that behavior again. So if you want happy employees, use the ABC approach on the concept of happiness. If you want engagement, use ABC to build engagement habits and so on and so forth. And that's basically what my book is about is how do you use habits, which is like the superpower of human beings is habits. How do you use that to change organizations, from the employee onward?

Dr. Alise Cortez: 

That was so deliciously articulated. Dr Pele, thank you, and I think that's one of the most powerful things about your book. And you're right, what you have written is so crisp. It delineates habits and access to habits so beautifully and compellingly. I can't tell the number of people that I've met who said, oh, I got to get into an exercise program. You're never going to get there, saying gotta. Never going to get there. So, ladies and gentlemen, if you care at all about habits, it's really about creating a culture. This is the book to pick up. So, while I'm going to send you off to Amazon or wherever it is that you get your books, let's go on to our next break here and then we'll carry on here. I'm your host, Dr. Alise Cortez. We are the year of Dr Pele, who is an educator, musician, bestselling author and the founder of Profitable Happiness. We've been talking a bit about some of the guts of his book, just what really makes the essence of it. After the break, we're going to get into some of the more finer details of it. Stay with us, we'll be right back and if you are just joining us, he is my guest, dr Pele, the founder of Profitable Happiness. We're talking about his latest book on the topic and the system and software he's devised to enable companies to achieve profitable happiness. I'm your host, Dr. Alise Cortez. So for this last segment, dr Pele, I just want to, I want to just dive into a few of the concepts there were so many, but just a few that I think are really essential for listeners of yours to understand why your work is so important. So first we got to go into this whole idea of bidirectional domino habit of listening. I can virtually guarantee you that this is a novel concept for most organizations, as you know. So could you talk a little bit about this notion of listening as an essential bidirectional domino habit?

Dr. Pelè: 

Yeah, so first let's start with a domino habit. So a habit is really a behavior that you have turned into an automatic sequence using the power of the brain. I have right here a model of the brain, and the way it basically works is, you know, inputs come in a sight, sound and so on and so forth into the conscious brain, and if you want to turn anything you're learning whether it's riding a bike or playing the piano or the guitar into a habit, then you have to keep repeating it and keep repeating it until you push it down into the basal ganglia. I'm looking, because I have a map on my wall. It looks just like this. I talk about this all the time, I love it, and so this idea of habits, this idea of habits, it's really more than just oh, I have a habit. It's really a superpower that we humans have, and when people know how to tap into habits, they can do amazing things, things they didn't believe they could do. So how about we apply that to engagement? How about we apply that to happiness? This is the thing that has not been done. You know, we've tried many things and, as we said, 30 years have gone by and I don't think anybody has really brought the power of habit making into the arena of engagement. And so when we talk about listening as a bi-directional thing and as a domino habit, one habit, one positive habit, will create multiple positive habits. That's what a domino habit is. In my book I coined that term so I don't know if you'd see it anywhere else so a domino habit really is a big sort of a parent habit that allows other great habits to happen. Let me give you an example. If I say I'm going to lose weight, right, and I'm going to have to maybe walk every morning, what might happen out of walking every morning is I'll feel when I come back, I got to take a shower. Now, if I was, because I'm hot and muggy or something after the walk, if I was someone who didn't like taking showers in the morning, guess what I'm doing now. I'm building a habit about taking showers. But that's not what started this. I wanted to lose weight and I took a walk. So taking a walk is a domino habit that gives me things like brushing my teeth in the morning. This is kind of an extreme example, taking a shower but it really is how you build other habits. So in an organization, if we pick a habit and we say we want to build engagement in order for people to be engaged, they're going to start forming other small positive habits. That's really how it works. In order to support the parent habit. Now, the habit that I have found in organizations creates the best domino habits is listening. Now you might say well, why, why listening? Well, let's be honest, how well do leaders really listen to their employees and how well do employees really listen to leaders? That's why it has to be bi-directional. Now, leaders could say, hey, yeah, but we do these surveys, we listen all the time, we get all these surveys and people. But you want to know the truth Employees don't like surveys that much. They're getting tired of them. And so what they? And, by the way, when they do fill out these surveys with their suggestions and their feelings, nothing happens. It's like their response is good to this big corner office in the sky to die and they're like well, why am I giving you all my great suggestions and feedback and frustrations if nobody does anything about them? That's why you need the reciprocity, the bi-directional listening. I listen to you, you listen to me, I take action on what I've listened to. You can see that action transparently and we're doing a back and forth. Now guess who does a back and forth of listening and responding and taking action? A jazz band, right. And so in my book, my central analogy is the idea of a jam when impromptu jam, where musicians come together and they listen to each other carefully. They follow each other in wherever the music is going to go, and that's how organizations can improve their interactions by finding ways to listen to each other. Now you will have to ask questions. Pulse surveys are a good way to do that, but don't make them long short. Get to the point questions, but do them more frequently and you'll be getting that back and forth happening more like a jazz band. And that's what I've found to be really powerful is bi-directional listening that has reciprocity and transparency and accountability.

Dr. Alise Cortez: 

Right, which is what allows. Then the employees also start to weigh in with what workplace do they actually want? And the reason I wanted you to bring that up to Dr Palay is that I've done many employee engagement surveys with organizations and I insist that they share those results, but many organizations don't, so it's the black hole thing. So now we need that circular piece, that bi-directional piece you're talking about. So that's what I wanted you to first distinguish. Now, second, if you would I know you'll know a lot about this I want you to distinguish appreciation versus gratitude.

Dr. Pelè: 

Now I don't know if I'm full down in a second. I'm not sure I'm that qualified to appreciate, to talk about the difference between gratitude and appreciation, because they're really they're really actually very different. Appreciation is something that you can do to someone and maybe there's another angle I'm missing but you can actually show appreciation to someone. But gratitude is something you kind of have to generate yourself. You have to say you know what I feel. I'm going to spend some time and feel gratitude for this thing that I have, and so it's a personal, it's kind of a personal action that you're taking. Versus appreciation really can come from someone else. Right, of course you can appreciate yourself too, but you know other people can either appreciate you or not appreciate you, and that can be a real problem. I think the big distinction is the difference between appreciation and recognition, which is another area where people kind of don't really Okay, yeah, so for recognition, you know recognition has been shown by a lot of research to be the engine of pride. This is what makes people feel proud of their work, is when someone recognizes you. Oh, wow, great job, that thing you did. And appreciation is really more something that people do to show you about, to show you they appreciate the quality of who you are versus the quality of what you've done.

Dr. Alise Cortez: 

Yes.

Dr. Pelè: 

So what you've done goes into recognition, camp Appreciation. Takes the who you are camp, right, it's sort of you know I'm getting that personal connection who I am. And then the first one, gratitude, is what I need to generate and feel by myself in order to be happy. In fact, the greatest tool of happiness is generating personal gratitude for everything around you. So whether you're doing a gratitude journal yourself or you're just thinking about it, the blessings you have every morning, that's how you create happiness is through gratitude.

Dr. Alise Cortez: 

Oh, I love that, and what's why I appreciate that is you know, I talk to leaders and say you know I do appreciate my people. I tell them that and they perform its duties every year. Yeah, that's not it. That's not what we're talking about here, okay. So now I want to, if we can, I want to go a little bit layer deeper here, this creating a culture of positive pride. You give some tactics here and there's about seven or eight of them. If you would just maybe speak to a few of them, because I want people to understand that this is actionable.

Dr. Pelè: 

Yeah.

Dr. Alise Cortez: 

How do we do this?

Dr. Pelè: 

Yes, Now just to be clear, listening is on that list, because listening is that powerful domino habit. Yes, it is that makes people feel, hey, if they're listening to me, then maybe I can have. I can feel psychological safety here, which is another one of those items that you talked about.

Dr. Alise Cortez: 

Yes.

Dr. Pelè: 

Maybe I can feel free to give feedback, maybe I can be, maybe I feel includes or inclusive or not. I feel inclusive, maybe I feel included in this organization regardless of my orientation or background, and so on and so forth. So all of these things contribute to a sense of psychological safety. It's hard for a person to feel pride when they don't feel safe in an organization. If you have a micromanaging boss, it's really difficult for you to feel pride in the things that you're doing, because guess what they're doing? It Right, yes, so all of these things are intertwined and I highlight these things in my book because the software that I've built, called profitable happiness, is a one-to-one mapping of these concepts. It's literally taking all of the science about psychological safety and listening and all these concepts and it's making them tangible in software. Why? Because if you can go from happiness or feelings or engagement to building habits that make those things real, take action on them, that's how you get high performance. I call that the 3-H approach. Happiness takes you to habits, takes you to high performance, and the way you do that is through software.

Dr. Alise Cortez: 

And I wanted you to talk about that, dr Depele, because you and I have spoken over the few years that we've known each other and then, most recently, about what you've just recently created. I mean, you've created a framework and supporting software to help companies create these high performance organizations through profitable happiness. So what I appreciate is it's one thing to birth the concept, the methodology. It's quite another to go ahead and bolt on a whole software, to actually engine it, if you will. So would you say just a little bit about how your software works? How does it map in and back into your framework?

Dr. Pelè: 

Precisely. The first thing I would say is that my software follows a strategy. I'm going to use another acronym called LEAP, and the reason I'm going to use this acronym is because it identifies listening as the very first thing that you have to do in an organization. The second thing is that listening has to activate employee engagement. By listening to people and making it reciprocal and making sure that people know that we're here together, everybody becomes more engaged. So that's L and that's E. That leads to action which, when repeated over and over, creates these habits we've been talking about. So L E, a, and then, finally, it is when these actions start to create the productivity that everybody's looking for. That's when we get high performance, the P. So my focus has been on how to build software that helps you leap from where you are now to where you need to be in your organization, which is a culture of happiness. Now, how we do that is basically we help employees focus every single week on one thing. Now you may have heard, I think, they say whatever you focus on is what will grow or what will build or whatever. Right, that's just the way the mind works. The mind can't do two things really at a time very well. Despite what you've heard about multitasking, the mind really likes to focus and if it focuses, it does very well in that thing. So how do you help employees focus on something? We ask them questions. If I ask every time I see my son, hey, how you doing on that math question there. Next time I see him, hey, how you doing on that math question. Next time I see him, same question he's gonna go off somewhere in his little world and say you know what dad keeps asking me about math? What is this math thing? And whether he likes it or not, he's gonna focus on math a little bit more than he normally would. And that's how you get people to focus. So you build habits of focus on specific things like engagement, and that's how the software works. Every Friday you get an email that invites you to answer a couple of questions about engagement, happiness or, if we're using Dr Alise's book, purpose, and those questions would help the employees over time form habits and cultures around those things. And then from that data we take that data about all these questions we're asking over 52 weeks of a year and then we give them advice and that's where AI comes in. I know a lot of people are wondering whether AI is good or bad. Well, it's actually pretty good because it can give you great advice on what to do, given the data that you have in your organization. So that's how our system works.

Dr. Alise Cortez: 

Beautiful, and what a way to take us into the finish. My gosh, dr Pele. That was so much Okay. So you probably know by now that this show is listened to by people around the world and they are interested in helping to create workplaces where people actually thrive. Wanna come to work and do their best, and we do business that betters the world. What would you like to leave them with?

Dr. Pelè: 

I would like to leave them with two things. First of all, believe that it's possible to build cultures of profitable happiness, high engagement, high productivity, purpose and meaning. You do it using software like I've just described. And then the second thing I'd like to leave them with is you can get that software right now for free, because we are in a pre-beta phase. Our team has developed the software and we are looking for the right small to medium sized enterprises or companies who would want to implement it so that we can track their progress over time, because that data becomes the data we use to go to market when we're ready. So they become prototype testers or beta testers for us. So if anyone is interested in having software that really helps you build your culture of high performance, this is an opportunity to get that without spending a dime. That's my offer.

Dr. Alise Cortez: 

That's a pretty good way to finish the show, dr Pele Woo. Bring it home. All right listeners and viewers, you'll learn more about Dr Pele and the work that he is doing. Where should they go, dr Pele? What website?

Dr. Pelè: 

Profitablehappinesscom is the software. My personal speaking website if anybody wants to bring me in to come do a little speech is Dr Pelecom. And then, of course, I'm on LinkedIn and my handle is Dr Pele D-R-P-E-L-E.

Dr. Alise Cortez: 

Thank you.

Dr. Pelè: 

Thanks for tuning in to the Profitable Happiness Podcast. For more episodes, visit drpelecom. And remember get happy first and success will follow.