Permission to Speak – Leadership Blog – Kelly Vandever Interviews Sandy Weaver about Happiness in the Workplace

Permission to Speak

Leadership Video Blog & Podcast

Hosted by Leadership Communications Expert Kelly Vandever

Permission to Speak is the video blog and podcast that loiters at the intersections of leaders who want their people to speak up, technology that facilitates connections, and results that serve an organization’s higher purpose.

Our guest for this episode:  Sandy Weaver

About Sandy Weaver:

Sandy Weaver believes that happiness is job one and not just in your personal life, but in business too.  When people feel better about themselves and are happy, they contribute more which makes for better business outcomes.

Sandy is an award-winning author of two books, Happiness Recipe and The Original MBA – Succeed in business using Mom’s Best Advice.

She’s also a speaker, blogger, podcaster and motivator.

Throughout her life, people have sought out Sandy for her advice, ability to listen and caring heart. Now she works with

companies to increase morale, pump up productivity and boost the bottom line through the science of happiness.

When not writing about happiness, you might find Sandy using her background as a major-market radio personality to produce

audio books and online learning courses, or judging an AKC dog show or walking along the Chattahoochee River with her two Siberian Huskies, Henley and Duffy.

Topics Discussed:

– Sandy walks her talk about happiness even through her recent divorce

– Positive psychology

– Neuroplasticity

– Communications

–  There are amazing organizations that are well built but they engender the feeling that people are interchangeable tools

– The best leaders know about empowering people, recognizing them as individuals and not treating them like a means to an end

– Good leaders give employees ownership of their tasks, not just the responsibility

– Sandy has 52 tools for happiness, one for each week of the year!

– Tips to make you happier at work and life are…

– 1 – Change how you go to MSU, making stuff up

– Instead of going negative (which we all tend to do) instead make stuff up that either helps us have more compassion for the person OR that makes you laugh!

– Sandy is found of assuming people are shape-shifter!

– When you hear the caveman taking over, tell him to get out of your brain!

– 2 – Spend 5 minutes a day meditating

– 3- Practice forgiveness

– Believe everyone tries to do the best they can in that moment.  Even if it’s not good, it makes it easier to forgive

– Acid destroys the vessel that stores it

– Leaders should care about if they want to get good business results

Theo Epstein was named one of Fortunes Top Leaders.

– Epstein is the general manager that took the Red Socks and Cubs to the World Series.  When was looking for players, he looked at stats, but he also looked at how the individuals handled adversity on and off the field and how they treated people.  He only brought in people that we would admire if they were his leader.

– Everyone has a bad day, but if they’re surrounded by good leaders, they’re there to help pick them up.

– Get clear on the kind of people you want around you

– Tools for leaders

– 1 – Leaders need to understand their tone, how they come across.  You need to have people around that work well with your tone.

– 2 – Leaders should catch people doing something right and praise them, especially that person that gets under your skin

– 3 – Use True brainstorming, where no negativity is allowed, no matter how stupid the idea

– Nike’s “Just Do It” didn’t come from one person’s head, it came from a brainstorming session

– True brainstorming takes the pressure off you as a leader.  You don’t have to have all the answers!

– Sandy shared an example of a client whom she helped, a veterinarian  who had an excellent technician who was also a toxic employee.  Praise really helped turn the employee around.

– In this example, Sandy had all the employees list 1 or 2 things that they liked or admired about every employee in the group, making everyone feel heard, seen and appreciated

– We often pursue happiness without realizing we create our own happiness

– Use mental stop signs when you find yourself thinking a thought that doesn’t serve you.  You can rewire your brain.  Be your own thought police, but only your own!

– For more information or to sign up for her newsletter of happiness tips go to or

Questions Answered:

Why should a leader care about happiness in the workplace?

What can I do to be happier at work?

What can I do as a leader to encourage happiness at work?

What can I do as a leader to be more effective?

What can I do as a leader to encourage and engage my employees?

Books Recommended:

The Original MBA:  Succeed in Business Using Mom’s Best Advice

Happiness Recipe:  Whippin’ up happiness with wit, wisdom, and wonderful food!

Kelly Vandever is a leadership and communications expert who helps leaders and organizations thrive in today’s attention-deficit, entertain-me-now, wait-while-I-post-that-on-Facebook world.   Connect with Kelly and discover how being professionally human can bring you better business results. 

Contact Kelly by phone at 770-597-1108, email her or tweet her @KellyVandever.

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