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The library of essays of Proakatemia

Big potential

Kirjoittanut: Susanna Leinonen - tiimistä Eventa.

Esseen tyyppi: Akateeminen essee / 3 esseepistettä.

Big Potential: How Transforming the Pursuit of Success Raises Our Achievement, Happiness, and Well-Being
Shawn Achor
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 3 minuuttia.

The book combines psychological ideas and concepts about happiness along with scientific studies and research. Every technique or tip that Achor gives in his book has evidence and research to prove it actually works and helps to reach the big potential. In this book Achor shows how to build up your own, your teams, your businesses and your co-workers potential by making the surroundings happier. If the surroundings are happier your business will thrive and you make higher profit.

Drawing on his work in 50 countries, he shows that success and happiness are not competitive sports. Rather, they depend almost entirely on how well we connect with, relate to, and learn from each other.

In a world that thrives on competition and individual achievement, we are measuring and pursuing potential all wrong. By pursuing success in isolation – pushing others away as we push ourselves too hard – we are not just limiting our potential, we are becoming more stressed and disconnected.

Just as happiness is contagious, every dimension of human potential – performance, intelligence, creativity, leadership ability and health – is influenced by those around us. So when we help others become better, we reach new levels of potential, as well.

“To crack the code on true potential the data scientists on Googles world famous People Analytics Team launched a big data initiative with the not so secret code name, Project Aristoteles. Here was their initial mission – build the perfect team. On the surface that task might seem straight forward. If you are going to build a dream team simply fill it with the highest performing individuals, right? So the next question is what specific qualities would you look for? High IQ, fluency in several languages, the ability to quickly solve quadratic equations in ones head? Essentially that is what Project Aristoteles was utilising to greatest algorithm technologie in history to find out. By analysing incredible amount of data including tens of thousands of responses across 180 teams on everything from introversion to skillset, to intelligence, to personality, to backgrounds. Project Aristoteles saw it to create the profile that would make for the perfect performer in the workplace. The conclusion was astonishing and challenged everything you might think you know about potential. They found that there is no profile of a perfect performer. Project Aristoteles reached more or less the same conclusion as my study at Harvard. When it comes to potential, individual trades and aptitudes are poor predictors of success on a team.” (Achor 2018, 38:35.)

Small Potential is the limited success we can attain alone. BIG Potential is what we can achieve together. Here, Achor offers five strategies – the SEEDS (surround, expand, enhance, defend, sustain) of Big Potential.

If one team member wants to reach to the big potential, the surroundings needs to be optimal. An individual can’t reach it alone. All he can reach alone is small potential. When we focus on positive things, we become more happy. And when we as individuals are happier, everyone around us are happier. It creates a positive cycle. Like this you surround yourself with positive energy and then you start to expand it to everyone else. Positive surrounding start to enhance the atmosphere on your workplace.

“Researcher Nicholas Christakis from Harvard Medical School linked up with James Fowler from UC San Diego to take this line of research one step further. If our physical health is interconnected, they wondered, might our emotional health and happiness be interconnected as well. Incredibly Fowler and Christakis found that it was more interconnected than we ever imagined. According to their analysis, if you became happier any friend within a one mile radius would be 63 % more likely to also become happier. And by that same token they found that if you’re currently not happy but surround yourself with happy people, your likelihood of finding happiness increases dramatically. And short, being surrounded by happy people doesn’t guarantee your happiness but it significantly improves your chances.” (Achor 2018, 48:53).

Achor underlines that positive feedback and reverence is very important in workplace as well. Rewarding the big potential builds on continuous rewarding and this makes the highest performance possible. You also need to defend your ecosystem from negative influences. Daily exercise to focus on positive things and gratitude is a good tool in this.

The way to sustain the big potential is to keep up the good energy on workplace. That you can do by celebrating even on smaller success. And its always is important to focus on team members strenghts. Strenghts are the ones, that build up the whole community.

This book is great to all leaders, team members and everyone who wants to reach their highest potential.


Achor, S. 2018. Big Potential – How Transforming the Pursuit of Success Raises Our Achievement, Happiness, and Well-Being. Audio book. Penguin Random House Usa Ex.

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