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A walk on the bright side: Is optimism the key to business success?

Jean-Philippe Ackermann
Jean-Philippe Ackermann

Jean-Philippe Ackermann always looks at the bright side. In fact, being optimistic is Ackermann’s job. He co-manages Grow Up Consulting, a company that advises businesses on how to improve optimism and employee happiness. We met Ackermann during the Monaco Business conference, to talk about the economic crisis and how to turn Covid-19 in your favour.


Monaco too has fallen victim to the wave of event cancellations caused to the pandemic. Somehow,  Monaco Business, a candle in the wind, held up. The event brings together the Riviera’s entrepreneurs to discuss the challenges faced by businesses in today’s economic climate.

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The future can be bright….

The future’s in your hands, insists Ackermann.  “In March, I lost 100% of my turnover,” he tells us. “You need to know how to find the silver lining in an event, the opportunity that hides within it. Living in a society means having problems constantly thrown at you. You either decide life’s too complicated, or you can see it as a challenge, for which you will find the solution. Businesses that thrive are businesses that are fuelled by the desire to find a solution,” he says.

I wanted to share with readers the ten keys to happiness that shape my everyday life

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… and full of opportunities

The pandemic obviously took a toll on many businesses. Productivity has dropped, layoffs are right around the corner, and turnovers are, well, often nowhere to be seen. But Ackermann insists that there is an opportunity waiting to be found out even in such an unpromising situation. “I’ve got three tips. The first tip is that you have to figure out what drives you, that itch, that need, you built your business on. Does your business today remain fateful to your initial driving principle?” he asks. “The second tip is to have a good look at your business framework. What is its function? Its mission? Its vision? Its values? Its end goal? And my final tip is to embrace proximity management. It means managing your company while always keeping in mind how it can improve, and how you can help your employees thrive. If the drive, the framework, and the management of a business are consistent, employees will be motivated to give the work their all,” he says.

Optimism should be the soundtrack to your life

To put down on paper his philosophy once and for all, Jean-Philippe Ackermann recently wrote a book titled “There are two sides to every coin” (“Aussi fine soit la tranche, elle a toujours deux faces” in French).

“It’s a book about happiness and optimism, explained through my own career and my personal experience. I wanted to share with readers the ten keys to happiness that shape my everyday life. For employees to trust you and believe in you, you need to give them a part of your happiness. Sharing your happiness, that’s the key to a healthy workplace,” he says.  Business no longer is about risk-taking. Take a walk on the bright side, as it were.