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The Professional: Seven New Rules

The term ‘professional’ comes from the Latin word ‘professio,’ which literally means to take an oath or a vow. Those who took the oath may have been entering a religious order or pledging allegiance to a political organization, but in every case, they promised to abide by a certain code of conduct and to build affective regard for the group to which they now belonged. Over the last few centuries, the term professional has come to mean different things to different people, but that central idea has not changed. What has changed is the rate of explosive growth in the number of new professions that now exists and the extent to which people in these professions must interact across borders.

Fifty years ago, we did not have television news anchors, software engineers, web designers, or cosmetic surgeons. Nor did we have tutors to help our children do their homework without ever meeting them face to face. Today, tutors sitting in India help American children do their math homework and Japanese children to get better in English composition. The combined impact of this huge shift has obviously created great benefits, but it also comes with consequences. For in an interconnected world where one person’s decision can affect those thousands of miles away, any professional failure can create a hugely undesirable impact: A rogue trader on Wall Street can bring down a large corporation in Europe; an over zealous news reporter can create security risks while reporting from behind enemy lines; a CEO of a global conglomerate can cost millions of people their jobs by embezzling company funds.


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About the Author

Subroto Bagchi co-founded IT services company, MindTree and is the author of the international best-seller The Professional. Subroto spends one-on-one time with the Top-100 leaders at MindTree on their ‘personal-professional’ issues to expand leadership capacity and build readiness for taking MindTree into the billion-dollar league. In addition, Subroto works at the grassroots by making himself available to its 45 Communities of Practice that foster organizational learning, innovation and volunteerism within the organization. To read Subroto’s complete biography, click here.

The Happiness Advantage: Discovering the Happiness Advantage

Excerpt from The Happiness Advantage

I applied to Harvard on a dare. I was raised in Waco, Texas, and never really expected to leave. Even as I was applying to Harvard, I was setting down roots and training to be a local volunteer firefighter. For me, Harvard was a place from the movies, the place mothers joke about their kids going to when they grow up. The chances of actually getting in were infinitesimally small. I told myself I’d be happy just to tell my kids someday, offhandedly at dinner, that I had even applied to Harvard. (I imagined my imaginary children being quite impressed.)


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About the Author

Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work, spent over a decade at Harvard University where he won numerous distinguished teaching awards for his work. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and earned a Masters from Harvard Divinity School in Christian and Buddhist ethics. In 2006, he was Head Teaching Fellow for ‘Positive Psychology,’ the most popular course at Harvard at the time. In 2007, Shawn founded Good Think Inc. to share his research with a wider population. When the global economy collapsed in 2008, Shawn was immediately called in as an expert by the world’s largest banks to help restart forward progress. Subsequently, Shawn has spoken in 45 countries to a wide variety of audiences: bankers on Wall Street, students in Dubai, CEOs in Zimbabwe. Shawn’s research on happiness and human potential have received attention from the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, Forbes, CNN, and NPR. To read Shawn Anchor’s full biography, click here.

The Happiness Advantage: Introduction

Excerpt from The Happiness Advantage

If you observe the people around you, you’ll find most individuals follow a formula that has been subtly or not so subtly taught to them by their schools, their company, their parents, or society. That is: If you work hard, you will become successful, and once you become successful, then you’ll be happy. This pattern of belief explains what most often motivates us in life. We think: If I just get that raise, or hit that next sales target, I’ll be happy. If I can just get that next good grade, I’ll be happy. If I lose that five pounds, I’ll be happy. And so on. Success first, happiness second.

The only problem is that this formula is broken.


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About the Author

Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work, spent over a decade at Harvard University where he won numerous distinguished teaching awards for his work. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and earned a Masters from Harvard Divinity School in Christian and Buddhist ethics. In 2006, he was Head Teaching Fellow for ‘Positive Psychology,’ the most popular course at Harvard at the time. In 2007, Shawn founded Good Think Inc. to share his research with a wider population. When the global economy collapsed in 2008, Shawn was immediately called in as an expert by the world’s largest banks to help restart forward progress. Subsequently, Shawn has spoken in 45 countries to a wide variety of audiences: bankers on Wall Street, students in Dubai, CEOs in Zimbabwe. Shawn’s research on happiness and human potential have received attention from the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, Forbes, CNN, and NPR. To read Shawn Anchor’s full biography, click here.

Do You Make Things Happen or Just Fill Time?

Innovative gadgets and mobile devices have brought great ease and efficiency to the workplace, but I’m convinced they’ve also become huge time-wasters. How often do you spend hours answering email and think you’ve actually accomplished something? Are you spending time in endless meetings to avoid actually making decisions? Do you have beautiful ‘to-do’ lists, but don’t actually finish anything?

I have 5 suggestions to help you quit your wasting time to boost your productivity. After all, you don’t want to get to the end of your life and realize your only real accomplishment was sending and receiving 10 billion email messages:


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About the Author

Phil Cooke is a television producer and media consultant at Cooke Pictures in Burbank, California. His new book is ‘Jolt! Get the Jump on a World That’s Constantly Changing.‘. Find out more at philcooke.com.

Are You a Good Fit for Potential Employers?

Determining if you are a good fit for an employer and vice-versa is not always as hard as it might seem. As I describe in my book Career Mapping: Charting Your Course in the New World of Work, you first need to have decided that you want to work in the industry in which the company does business.

If you are a functional expert, say in HR or finance, you might tend to think your skills are transferrable and can be applied anywhere. That might be true, but you need to understand and appreciate the context you are working in. Human Resources in a consumer goods company, which might be product and sales oriented, is quite different from an industrial company where manufacturing plants and unions are the order of the day. You need to like, or at least want to learn, about the business the company is in. As you move through your career, your industry, as well as functional knowledge are what allow you to move up the ladder.


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About the Author

Ginny Clarke is an expert in talent and career management, executive coaching, and diversity and inclusion in the workplace. She has recruited C-suite executives and corporate directors, and coached numerous executives and professionals. She is widely respected as a thought leader and practitioner of recruitment and retention strategies that go beyond traditional definitions of diversity. She offers provocative, unconventional remedies for organizations seeking to leverage their global workforce. Having been a senior executive herself, Ginny is credible and confident. Her candor, intellect and results-oriented approach appeal to those committed to growth and change. To ready Ginny Clarke’s full biography, click here.