37 min

Gallup's Insights on Addressing Unhappiness, with Jon Clifton Coaching for Leaders

    • Management

Jon Clifton: Blind Spot

Jon Clifton is the CEO of Gallup. His mission is to help 7 billion citizens be heard on their most pressing work and life issues through the Gallup World Poll, a 100-year initiative spanning over 150 countries. He is a nonresident senior fellow at Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion and serves on the boards of directors for Gallup and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy.



Jon has been interviewed on BBC News, Axios, C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” and Al-Jazeera, and he has testified in front of the U.S. Congress on the state of American small business and entrepreneurship. He is a frequent contributor on Gallup.com and has written for The Hill, The Diplomatic Courier, and The Global Action Report. He is the author of Blind Spot: The Global Rise of Unhappiness and How Leaders Missed It.



In this conversation, Jon and I discuss why many objective numbers like GDP appear positive and yet don’t correlate to wellbeing and happiness. We examine how to think about more subjective measures and ways for leaders and organizations to gain insight. Plus, we dialogue about what managers can do to help make genuine connections in the workplace.

Key Points



While objective trends worldwide such as GDP and the Human Development Index have been positive for decades, people are angrier, sadder, and more worried than ever.

There’s a key distinction between how someone sees their life and how someone lives their life.

Money does not buy happiness, but it is hard to be happy without it.

Frequent conversations, listening, and framing work around strengths are key actions managers can take to address unhappiness with employees.



Examples of questions/survey topics to ask of customers to gain insight into emotional attachment:

Company always delivers on what they promise.



I feel proud to be a Company customer.



Company is the perfect company for people like me.

Examples of questions/survey topics to ask of suppliers to to gain insight into emotional attachment:

Company always treats me with respect.



Company is easy to do business with.



Company always does what they say they will do.

Resources Mentioned



Blind Spot: The Global Rise of Unhappiness and How Leaders Missed It* by Jon Clifton

CliftonStrengths (formerly StrengthsFinder) assessment



Interview Notes

Download my interview notes in PDF format (free membership required).

Related Episodes



These Coaching Questions Get Results, with Michael Bungay Stanier (episode 237)

How Teams Use StrengthsFinder Results, with Lisa Cummings (episode 293)

How to Help People Thrive, with Jim Harter (episode 532)



Discover More

Activate your free membership for full access to the entire library of interviews since 2011, searchable by topic.

Jon Clifton: Blind Spot

Jon Clifton is the CEO of Gallup. His mission is to help 7 billion citizens be heard on their most pressing work and life issues through the Gallup World Poll, a 100-year initiative spanning over 150 countries. He is a nonresident senior fellow at Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion and serves on the boards of directors for Gallup and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy.



Jon has been interviewed on BBC News, Axios, C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” and Al-Jazeera, and he has testified in front of the U.S. Congress on the state of American small business and entrepreneurship. He is a frequent contributor on Gallup.com and has written for The Hill, The Diplomatic Courier, and The Global Action Report. He is the author of Blind Spot: The Global Rise of Unhappiness and How Leaders Missed It.



In this conversation, Jon and I discuss why many objective numbers like GDP appear positive and yet don’t correlate to wellbeing and happiness. We examine how to think about more subjective measures and ways for leaders and organizations to gain insight. Plus, we dialogue about what managers can do to help make genuine connections in the workplace.

Key Points



While objective trends worldwide such as GDP and the Human Development Index have been positive for decades, people are angrier, sadder, and more worried than ever.

There’s a key distinction between how someone sees their life and how someone lives their life.

Money does not buy happiness, but it is hard to be happy without it.

Frequent conversations, listening, and framing work around strengths are key actions managers can take to address unhappiness with employees.



Examples of questions/survey topics to ask of customers to gain insight into emotional attachment:

Company always delivers on what they promise.



I feel proud to be a Company customer.



Company is the perfect company for people like me.

Examples of questions/survey topics to ask of suppliers to to gain insight into emotional attachment:

Company always treats me with respect.



Company is easy to do business with.



Company always does what they say they will do.

Resources Mentioned



Blind Spot: The Global Rise of Unhappiness and How Leaders Missed It* by Jon Clifton

CliftonStrengths (formerly StrengthsFinder) assessment



Interview Notes

Download my interview notes in PDF format (free membership required).

Related Episodes



These Coaching Questions Get Results, with Michael Bungay Stanier (episode 237)

How Teams Use StrengthsFinder Results, with Lisa Cummings (episode 293)

How to Help People Thrive, with Jim Harter (episode 532)



Discover More

Activate your free membership for full access to the entire library of interviews since 2011, searchable by topic.

37 min

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