Work Daze: I’ve got a secret
Mar 30,2007 00:00 by Bob_Goldman

Have you got a secret? I've got a secret. To be more specific, I've got a secret about The Secret, the same secret Secret that you've heard about on Oprah and Larry King.


Bob Goldman has been an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company in the San Francisco Bay area.  

On the off chance that management at your workplace does not give you 60 minutes every afternoon to watch Oprah, let me fill in a bit of the back story. The Secret is the name of a self-help book that teaches you a technique for getting everything you ever wanted, as long as what you wanted wasn't avoiding self-help books.

According to, the Web site, the secret has been known to successful individuals like Plato, Newton, Carnegie, Beethoven, Shakespeare and Einstein. But these tight-lipped individuals kept The Secret secret, unlike one Rhonda Byrne, an Australian television mogul who not only discovered The Secret, but decided to blab about it.

And blab she did. Now everyone can learn The Secret in books, CDs and DVDs.

The Secret has become so well-known it has even spawned an industry of its own, comprised of publicity-hungry hangers-on who are hoping to ride on the skirts of The Secret with their own programs entitled The Secret Behind The Secret, and The Secret of The Secret.

I am happy to announce that one of those low-life publicity suckers is me.

And what is The Secret? What is the power that is guaranteed to bring you "unlimited joy, health, money, relationships, love, youth: everything you have ever wanted?"

It's called the Law of Attraction. Basically, like attracts like. So if you put out positive vibes you will receive positive vibes in return. This is the way you get the big bucks and the big love, unlike the meager money and the marginal relationships that are currently attracted to the cynical, snarky vibes you are now projecting.

To question whether any of this nonsense really works represents the kind of negative energy that we secret-people abjure, especially when it comes to the workplace. Thus I was quite smitten when the positive energy I project in my desperation for relevant topics for these weekly sermons was answered with a positive press release on the subject of using The Secret at work.

Dr. Noelle Nelson, author of the book, "The Power of Appreciation in Business" is the latest glockenspiel to join The Secret bandwagon. It rings in with tips for employers on the radical concept that companies that demonstrate how much they value their workers receive, in return, "increased performance, productivity and profits."

For employers, Nelson advises management to "reward employees for good work on a spontaneous and unanticipated basis" by "catching your employees in the act of doing something right." Looking beyond the implication that we workers do so little right that it takes an effort to find anything to value, I do endorse the idea of a management team out to "catch" their employees.

I look forward to the day when I find a supervisor hiding under my desk or curled up in a file cabinet, ready to spring into action when I manage to pick up the phone within 20 rings, or admit to a good customer that I was only joking when I answered, "You have reached our Bangalore call center. Please hold until I finish this bowl of curry."

Employees also can rely on The Secret to make their workplace better. Nelson suggests that "on your way to work each day, try to think of one thing you like about your job." This is a tall order, especially since they replaced the mini-doughnuts in the snack machine with organic trail mix. Even the super-positive vibe machine that is our author admits, "If you honestly can't (find anything positive), tell yourself instead, 'Today I'm going to find one thing I like about my job.' Then make it a point to find something."

Good advice, I suppose, but not easy to do. You've been trying to find one thing you like about your job since you hired on, and the only positive aspect still remains, "Well, at least they let me go home at night."

Nelson also points out that "you can never say thank you too much," so before I wrap up here, let me thank you for reading and thank you for not mailing any more nasty e-mails to the publisher about how this space could be better used for beauty secrets from Paris, Lindsay and Britney.

You don't have to thank me. It'll be our secret.

© Copley News Service