BookLife Talks with Steve “Mr. Pineapple” Mathieu
A sponsored Q&A with the author of The Pineapple Theory series
What is the story behind your books—why and how did you write them?
Throughout my 20-plus-year career in business management, I consistently got unpleasant looks and responses when I shared my views with senior business leaders, because I was their subordinate. They kept telling me to keep my focus on what I should do! I’d had enough and decided to do my own thing for the people. When I was without work for 10 months in 2020 because of Covid-19, I looked back at those 20-plus years of experience. Without bias, I looked at how the world was reacting to, acting within, and interacting with the pandemic.
It hit me: communication becomes efficient when it’s done with positive emotions. Be positively curious!
As humans, our emotions are at our core, which means we often are slaves of our emotions! From this understanding, a vision was born, and I started writing. A valuable exercise for me when I have a vision is to assemble a vision board. It becomes my foundation.
Why title the series The Pineapple Theory?
In theory: Human = Pineapple
Everybody has an inner sweetness, which I define as their emotions. Everybody has a shell, which serves as their protector. Everybody wears a crown, which I define as their authenticity. Do we understand what each of these parts are, and can we master the art of using them and keeping them balanced?
Business = Pineapple
In reference to flipping the pyramid of employee levels upside down, the inside of a company is like the inner sweetness of a pineapple. Flip it upside down, and the inner sweetness from the bottom will spread to the top, meaning that the inner sweetness of the fruit and the company can be equally enjoyed from bottom up and from top down.
The books = Pineapple
Because a pineapple is an authentic fruit, the books are also authentic. They do not follow standard book norms.
What would you say are the biggest challenges for leaders in the workplace today?
Emotions. Every human has them, 24/7. It’s like a never-ending roller coaster that contains moments of goodness and of displeasure. Society’s emotions are another roller coaster. You could say it’s two roller coasters crossing paths frequently. The challenge for companies, which is also a social responsibility, is to achieve harmony with a mixture of workers. Every worker’s roller coaster crosses paths in the workplace. Then everyone’s ride continues separately after their shift at work. Because of this context, becoming an effective emotional leader can be challenging.
Now that the pandemic has changed what the workplace looks like, how can managers bring about positive interactions in a workplace that is often no longer centralized?
One of The Pineapple Theory’s main missions is to help move workplace interactions in a positive direction. Therefore, this can apply to both virtual and in-person workplaces. The same goes for trust, which is a positive emotion that many managers can use to efficiently empower their team.
What’s next for you?
Last year was inspiring and productive for me because I wrote and published four books in The Pineapple Theory series. In addition, because every day is inspiring for me, I make an authentic daily post on LinkedIn. Covid-19 made my book releases peculiar because I was constrained to promoting the books on social media alone. With more countries using a vaccine passport, I’ll be available for speaking sessions and attending book fairs, such as the London International Book Fair next April and the Frankfurt Book Fair in October.