Preview Thursday: the Mood Elevator by Dr. Larry Senn

The following post is a preview excerpt from Chapter 3 of the Mood Elevator by Dr. Larry Senn.

Learning to ride the Mood Elevator offers huge benefits for the individual, but it also offers major payoffs for organizations whose employees practice this skill. It’s no accident that many of Senn Delaney’s clients who teach their employees about the Mood Elevator have appeared on Fortune’s list of most admired companies, won J.D. Power awards for best customer service, and earned high rankings on the employee engagement scores measured by the Gallup polling organization.

One of the core beliefs that guides our culture-shaping work at Senn Delaney is that, in a fundamental sense, we don’t have to teach our clients anything; we just give them practical ways to reconnect with the best of who they already are. That happens naturally for people and organizations when they are up the Mood Elevator. When leaders and teams operate at their best, their innately healthy behaviors are enhanced, and organizations flourish.

I’ve already noted that most people, as they grow up, gradually lose the natural mental and emotional health that characterizes many young children. Instead they learn thought habits that make them vulnerable to negative attitudes and behaviors like fear, defensiveness, and inauthenticity. Many of these learned habits show up as dysfunctions in the organizations they join. Win/lose political conflicts and lack of trust cause needless rifts and misunderstandings. Departments and individuals blame one another and engage in battles over power, prestige, and resources. As a result, organizations waste time, energy, and money struggling to overcome personal and cultural dysfunctions rather than focusing on productivity, creativity, and growth.

When we perform the Senn Delaney cultural diagnostics with a new client company, the resulting Corporate Culture Profile often yields scores that indicate problem areas. One of the scores most often found in the red zone, indicating serious dysfunction, is employees’ not feeling valued and appreciated. That is not surprising. These days most organizations operate at a faster pace than ever before—often dismissing the human dimension. But that’s a recipe for trouble because it leads to a lack of employee engagement and a poor customer experience.

Fortunately, we are able to use the concepts in this book to consistently move our clients out of the red zone and toward a healthy, high-performing culture with more positive energy and spirit. It is empowering for our clients to learn that they can return to the productive forms of thinking, feeling, and behaving that elude them when they are down the Mood Elevator—and that they can be highly productive and have employees and customers who feel valued and appreciated. Our clients learn that healthy organizational behaviors are only a thought away—and they learn how to access them.


Dr. Larry Senn is the founder of Senn Delaney, the culture shaping unit of Heidrick & Struggles and author of his new book, the Mood Elevator, which you can purchase here. If you would like to learn more about Larry and his work, you can visit his website here.

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