Sorridere! Smile!

As CEO of Panini, you might expect me to blog about strategic planning, operational excellence, innovation, change management, or a variety of other business topics.  However, I’d like to focus instead on a more fundamental and essential game changer that can dramatically impact everyone on each and every day.  In Italian, sorridere means smile (verb).  Regardless of the language, it’s something we should all remember and practice.   

We live and function in a world characterized by a frenetic pace of change, nonstop demands on our time and attention, incredible stress, and endless sources of worry and concern.  Fortunately, there is something we can all do about that – simply smile!  Smile as much, as often, and as long as you can.  If that sounds silly, just consider the following.  Smiling has been scientifically proven to extend our life expectancy, lower blood pressure, reduce stress, release “feel good” neurotransmitters, and enhance our immune system.  Just as important, it’s highly contagious.  When you smile at someone, their brain processes this as a compliment and gesture of friendship, and stimulates that person to return the smile.

Our lives and jobs are demanding.  I’ve found that consciously focusing on smiling helps me keep situations in perspective, avoid overreaction or negativity, improve creative issue resolution, and generally just feel better.  The best time and method to commit to this approach is to consciously choose your attitude at the start of each day.  If you deliberately choose to be positive and start your day smiling, it’s amazing what a difference this can make. 

Can you guess what I’m doing right now?  I’m smiling, and I hope you are smiling right back!


Michael Pratt
CEO, Panini

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