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A summary… By Julie Barker

The book revolves around four key concepts: Choose your attitude, play, make their day and be there and aims at making employees’ and customer experiences of the workplace better, thereby improving the workplace itself.


There is always a choice about the way you do your work, even if there is not a choice about the work itself.

When we come to [work] we bring an attitude. We can bring a moody attitude and have a depressing day.  We can bring a grouchy attitude and irritate our co-workers and customers.  Or we can bring a sunny, playful, cheerful attitude and have a great day.  We can choose the kind of day we will have.

A poem about faith in oneself by David Whyte, called ‘Faith’ is on p 28.

An interesting passage of John Gardner’s writing about learning and growing throughout life vs going to seed is on pp 33 – 35.

PLAY (p 45)

You can be professional and still have fun along the way.

Benefits of play and ideas for implementing it in the workplace can be found on pp 71 – 72.


Help people to make great memories.  Engage people and welcome them to join in the fun. Customers like being part of ‘the show’ and memories are created here that will bring smiles and make good stories for a long time afterward.  Involving others and working to ‘make their day’ directs attention towards the customer.  Great psychology. Focusing your attention on ways to make another person’s day provides constant flow of positive feelings.

Benefits of make their day and ideas for implementing it can be found on pp 76 – 77.

BE THERE (p 50)

Be present and fully engaged in your work.  Have a good time with customers – don’t ignore them to have a good time with each other.  Be present and focused on the customer – not internally focused.

The past is history
The future is a mystery
Today is a gift
That is why we call it the present.  (Bill Keane, cited on p 78).

Consider these questions / statements to make sure the person you’re talking to is there / challenge them to be there:  Is now a good time? / You seem distracted.

Another piece of John Gardner text, about meaning, can be found on page 86 – 87

An inspirational workplace ‘manifesto’:

Our Workplace

As you enter this place of work please choose to make today a great day. Your colleagues, customers, team members and you yourself will be thankful.  Find ways to play. We can be serious about our work without being serious about ourselves.  Stay focused in order to be there when your customers and team members most need you.  And should you feel your energy lapsing, try this sure-fire remedy: Find someone who needs a helping hand, a word of support, or a good ear – and make their day. P89