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The Levity Effect: Why it Pays to Lighten Up

17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470195888
ISBN-10: 0470195886
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Editorial Reviews


"Gostick and Christopher are serious about levity and its impact on the bottom line, and have plenty of ideas for generating laughter." (Personnel Today, Mon 17th March 2008)

"Why every company needs a fun strategy". (, Tuesday 15th April 2008)

From the Inside Flap

If you think work is no laughing matter, the joke's on you. The Levity Effect uses serious science to reveal the remarkable power of fun and humor in building a productive, engaged, and loyal workforce...and a more successful you.

If you doubt levity is good for business, consider this: lighthearted leaders earn more on average than their more dour peers; entertaining workplaces breed more loyal employees and happier customers; and employees who are considered humorous are vastly more likely to get promoted—especially to senior positions.

The benefits of the levity effect are built on extensive research and case studies from some of the world's most successful organizations. Bestselling author Adrian Gostick and humorist Scott Christopher provide powerful examples of leaders from Boeing, Nike, KPMG, Yamaha, Enterprise, Zappos, and dozens of others, all of which prove that lightening up leads to real business results.

The Levity Effect also presents extensive research into the subject—including compelling data from the Great Place to Work® Institute's one million-member database—that cuts against the grain of traditional business thinking to reveal that great companies consistently earn significantly higher marks for fun.

The Levity Effect is for anyone who wants to build an engaging, productive work culture and a more successful career. With interviews, extensive research, and lighthearted insight, The Levity Effect turns traditional business thinking on its head to prove again and again that a fun and engaging workplace leads to better business, more focused employees, and satisfied customers.

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 82%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470195886
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470195888
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #513,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This books has reminded me how positive and enjoyable work could be...if I remember to enjoy it. I have struggled ENDLESSLY to find the most effective way to manage/relate to/motivate this new generation of colleagues/ employees/ clients. The workforce and workplace are changing. Stuffy, regimented management styles just don't work anymore--I think we all already know this, but are prohbited to break protocol by corporate policies or conservative corporate environments.
For anyone who sees the bigger, more innovative business picture, the truth is this: Maintaining the status quo will give you just that--status quo results. By just modifying my demeanor to be more accessible, more jovial, and more self-effacing, my team has responded by being more available, more eager, more honest. The change is amazing!
Want a department that is creative, encouraged, and on the leading edge of your industry? Want to increase your team's performance? Want to actually look forward to your work day? You don't need to implement new procedures. You don't need to do a reorg in your department. You don't need to fire your staff, or resign. You can increase creativity, productivity, profitablity, and just about anything you want, while enjoying what you do by changing you! You can look forward to your work day, and have people look forward to working with you. Buy this book!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Pirate Fan on September 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dang, this book is a good one. There are literally tons of work/management books that should be ground up and turned into high-grade mulch. Not this one. Brilliant, funny in discussing fun, and seriously important.

Right now, I'm trying to decide if I should risk getting in trouble for blowing out the budget on 25 copies for my teams. Yeah, it's that good.

I've served 'em FISH! and Given Them the Pickle, and shared the Luv. . . a lot of good times working on making work fun. The Levity Effect is right there with the best of them.

Buy it, read it, share it, live it.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Dominic Crapuchettes on June 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although this book has 218 pages, 180 of them say he exact same thing. This mean you are only getting about 38 pages worth of book. And I would be happy with a 38 page book on this topic, but in this case, I had to wade through 180 pages to find the 38 interesting pages.

90% of this book are stories demonstrating that people who are happy are more productive. Sound reasonable. Who would argue with that? They had me with the first 5 stories. I read the next 15 stories thinking that I would be gaining more insight. Nope. All of them were dedicated to this one simple concept. I skipped the next 25 stories and started again at the next chapter. Guess what? The next chapter is EXACTLY the same. This time the stories show that not only are happy people more productive, but this also leads to greater profits. Who needs another chapter to see that greater productivity means greater profits?

Here is a summary of what you will learn. Good stuff, but you won't need to buy the book once you read the following:

- Happy people are more creative, more productive, and healthier
- Happy people are less likely to change jobs
- People listen better if humor is infused into meetings
- An atmosphere of trust is essential before people will lighten up

Then there is a chapter with 142 fun ways to lighten up the office. These things include dressing up for Halloween and celebrating birthdays with cake. Some people may want to read 142 examples, I only needed 25.

Then the most interesting chapter is about how to balance your work and family life. This chapter has 14 short subsections about ways to live a happier life. I found it insightful.
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. Lockwood on July 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Levity Effect does a good job of proving a very valid point that I already knew ... a work place that encourages light-hearted moments produces a more engaged and productive work force. Without the authors' guidance, I proved through many years of corporate management at all levels (including the board room) that humor does in fact result in the positive results set forth in the book. I am pleased that now there is a good reference to which I can refer my more uptight managers. I hope they will follow the guidance so their workers can relax and be more productive for them. Theory X managers will probably scoff at the concept ... as their workers leave for a more engaging manager.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jason Martin on April 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I once had a boss who everybody seemed to like. He always had a smile on his face and always had kind words to say to his employees. His attitude was contagious and it paid huge dividends for the company, as profits soared, customers were happy, and so were the employees.

Unfortunately, the people in the corporate office thought he should act more serious. They criticized his fun loving approach to the business and eventually forced him out the door, despite the fact that his operation was one of the top performers in the entire company. Not surprisingly, after he left, employee morale went down the drain. Profits dwindled, customer service suffered, and employees were resigning left and right. I never could understand why the company was so narrow minded. Here was a guy doing a terrific job, but since he did things a little differently than "the norm", he gets whacked.

Certainly, that's no way to run a business, as the author of this book, Adrian Gostick, agrees. After reading this wonderfully engaging guide to "lightening up", I thought about our old boss, Larry, and wondered what he's up to these days. We called him "Uncle Larry" because he was so easy going, funny, and nice. The nickname seemed perfect, but of course, the corporate suits thought it was inappropriate for a high level executive to have such a silly nickname. Clearly, they really needed to lighten up, but they never did. Things are only getting worse, from what I understand. The company's not making much money these days, and just about everybody I worked with only a few years ago, has quit in a total state of disillusionment.

I'm glad I read this book. It's nice to know some people really get it!
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