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Publisher's Summary

A 2018 Nautilus Book Award Winner for Business and Leadership!

The founder of Menlo Innovations and author of the business culture cult classic Joy, Inc. offers an inspirational guide to leaders seeking joy in the challenge of leading others.

Rich Sheridan's Joy, Inc. told the story of how his tiny software company in Ann Arbor, Michigan, achieved success and renown by embracing offbeat culture and human-centered values. In Chief Joy Officer, he turns his attention from culture to leadership and draws on his experience running Menlo and consulting elsewhere to offer a wise, provocative guide on how anyone can build leadership capacity for joy within their own organization. 

Chief Joy Officer offers sage, hard-won advice to any manager or leader who yearns to make more of an impact on the lives of others, including:

  • Self-understanding is the cornerstone for every virtue of leadership: authenticity, trust, humility, and optimism.
  • Good leaders make more leaders: Learn to judge your performance not on whether people are doing what they're told, but whether they're developing independent leadership capacity.
  • Influencing up is just as important is influencing down: how to encourage different thinking in those above you in your organizations.

Filled with colorful anecdotes from Sheridan's personal journey and wisdom from many leadership mentors, Chief Joy Officer offers an approachable, down-to-earth philosophy and practice that will help even the most disillusioned of middle managers bring a renewed sense of purpose to their work building others.

©2018 Richard Sheridan (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“If you feel like something is missing from your workplace but can’t quite figure out what, read this book. Richard Sheridan shows just how important a joyful workplace is, and how much it can revolutionize your life, your team, and your organization.” (Kerry Patterson, author of Crucial Conversations and Influencer)

“I often say that Menlo is the most agile company on the planet. Want to know why? Their purpose. Their vision. And, most notably, their servant leadership. You need to read this book. Then read it again.” (Linda Rising, coauthor of Fearless Change and More Fearless Change)

“Read this book and you will want to be a Chief Joy Officer. Inspiring lessons from an exceptional leader of a company built on joy.” (Jeffrey Liker, author of The Toyota Way

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Not just for those at the top

Rich Sheridan looks at how work gets done in a way ... that's different. It's the way we all wish those we reported would see it. He admits this keeps changing. He has no silver bullets, just a lot of experience he is willing to share. The best part is that his insights work for those at any level of the organization ... anyone can elevate human energy and eliminate fear. Perhaps not for their entire organization, but at least their part of it.
Rich reads the book himself. For those of you in a hurry, you can turn up the speed to the 1.25 setting. Rich is from the mid-west where the cadence is not as frantic. I listened first and then brought the book and underlined all the parts that spoke to me.
This book, like his first, is worth your time. And we could all use more joy in our organizations.

8 people found this helpful

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I love this book!

It was as if he was speaking directly to me and the situations I've been dealing with in my business. I really look forward to reading this book again and really appreciate the affirmations that I am on the right path to better management.

3 people found this helpful

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Well well done!

Joy to the (business) world! This guy has it!...It is a MUST listen to or read!

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Nothing Like Joy Inc

The thing I love most about Joy Inc. was that it had a lot of specifics on how you can transform your organization. This book is primarily a memoir by Richard waxing philosophical. No great specific play-by-play. Really nothing actionable from this book that you could use.

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good to hear it from the author's mouth

really enjoyed this. great content and applicable. plenty to take back and apply in my own professional life. b

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Pure Joy

Very inspiring, with a lot of great examples on how to do things the joyful way.

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Good concept but came across insincere

This book has a great concept but felt to me like bragging about his company.

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Great story, great marration

I really enjoyed this title. The honesty and authenticity of the author made this listen a pure pleasure and inspiration. I wish the world have more leaders like those described in this book.

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Great ideas for teachers and other leaders

I initially started listening for ways of how I can be supportive of other teachers. I started realising that there are several applications that I can try in my own classroom.

This book is the perfect length for busy professionals. It is short enough that it is not a big to-do item, yet long enough to have clarity on the ideas and listen to stories to make the ideas stick.

We spend about 1/3 of our waking hours at work and roughly 1/3 of workers don't like their job. Anything that we can do to decrease fear in the workplace and increase joy is worth considering.

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Thought provoking

While the nature of my industry and profession do not easily lend themselves to a similar approach to structure, the underlying principals are still very applicable. Hearing about a group apply core beliefs that I share in a fairly radical way inspires me to continue to make those beliefs a focus in my own structure/processes.

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  • paul roderick
  • 09-18-19

Well worth a listen.

Leadership today is about enabling people to do things. This book shows how. Enjoyed it.