In his new book, Reflections on Happiness and Positivity, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, explores the connections between the two concepts, and reveals their impact on achievement, productivity and creativity. Phunware Co-Founder and CEO Alan Knitowski is quite a fan – enough to make the book required reading for all Phunware employees. Here’s why he’s so impressed:
We’ve had to go through a lot of change over eight and a half years of running. One of the biggest ones is attitude. It’s amazing how people who think something’s not possible create a self-fulfilling prophecy. The [sheikh’s] book is a way to think about how there really is a process somebody can adopt if they wanted to change, despite how hard those changes are.
This book is a great refresher for anyone who’s going through difficult times, or has big vision, or wants people to start really looking in the mirror. After our employees have read it, they’ve had lots of really interesting reactions – positive or different ways to think about things, and new appreciations. The concepts in the book are very basic and elementary things, but really relevant to having a big hairy audacious goal and a big vision. How do you do everything you can to nurture it, support it and prop yourself up through all the difficulties and just keep moving forward? Ultimately, it’s about how you can transform – in [the sheikh’s] case, just a big pile of dirt in the desert into a spectacular metropolis.
The [sheikh’s] book is a way to think about how there really is a process somebody can adopt if they wanted to change, despite how hard those changes are.
Alan Knitowski on applying Reflections on Happiness and Positivity at Phunware
- Set the Stage for Success: In the book, Knitowski says, the viewpoint on the role of the sheiks and other rules is, “to enable positive thought to implement radically aggressive ideas and big visions. What can you do to provide the opportunities for people to develop? You need to set a backdrop to encourage people and businesses, then cultivate and expand that so that it spills over and creates happiness for a population by removing the barriers.”
- Think Big. Then Bigger: The UAE’s success has resulted from an encourage to go beyond big. Knitowski notes that the ruling powers adopted a stance of, “We want you to not be thinking about how to build a mall or a hotel, but how it build the greatest mall in the world, or the greatest hotel. That’s why you’ve seen this amazing array of crazy architecture very aggressive development wildly fast development and some of the most amazing landmarks in the world.” Push yourself – and your employees – to imagine their wildest dreams as goals.
- Enable Positive Thought: Knitowski explains that, “[you] need to prepare for something that might accidentally go right, instead of just focusing on everything that can go wrong. How do you play offense instead of playing defense, how do you expect greatness and positive outcomes instead of being so terrified that something might go wrong? And when things do go wrong, how do you behave and react? He takes his cues from Reflections, which, he says, embodies, “the notion of being purposeful in nurturing, which is something that you don’t really equate with a political leader or a leader in general.”
- Toxicity Trumps Talent: Happiness and positivity make a huge difference in workplace culture and success. According to Knitowski, “It’s about personal attitude – do you wake up and think, ‘today sucks’, or do you wake up and embrace all the exciting things that can happen? I’ve seen people who are the smartest people in the world, with really great backgrounds, who are really good at what they do. But they’re cancerous, and you have to fire them or transition them because they’re toxic to everyone else around.”
Check out more of Alan Knitowski’s thoughts about Reflections on Happiness and Positivity – view his Team Austin talk here.
About the book:
A fresh approach to success in business, by embracing happiness and positivity in the workplace.
From Amazon.com: “This prestigious book by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, examines two concepts in which Sheikh Mohammed has a great personal interest: happiness and positivity. He explores the relationship between the two, and examines how they impact achievement, productivity and creativity. Written in Arabic by Sheikh Mohammed’s own hand, this insightful book includes both personal stories and an international perspective to emphasize the pivotal role that happiness and positivity play in forming leadership strategies and fostering relationships among team members.”