Happiness is not something you often hear along with leadership. But think about it, why should leaders be miserable? Is that a great example to their team or the people in their life? I know in the corporate realm being happy is not a top corporate core value and some might accuse us of focusing on a seemingly minor component of life but the fact is that being happy as we lead in each area of our life is important.
Often times as leaders, we take ourselves so seriously that we can go off the happiness trail. My personal experience as well as many of the professionals I coach, is that one of these 6 categories is the root cause.
Missed Calling – When we are working in an area that we feel called to we feel satisfaction and fulfillment.
Lack of Passion – When we are passionate about our work, it comes so easy, everything seems to click. However, when we have lost our passion steam, we get derailed and our once pleasant mood disintegrates. Speaking of passion, my friend Dan Miller, Author of 48DAYS TO THE WORK YOU LOVE and NO MORE MONDAYS along with his son Jared Angaza, Founder of Keza have a book releasing this summer titled, WISDOM MEETS PASSION, you’ll want to pick up that book to find out just how important passion really is to business and life.
Missing Connection – Connecting to other people, learning about new ideas and creativity helps to create meaningful relationships and connections that can help fill our happiness cup.
Measure Activity – Often times we are seeking to measure results. Did I make the sale? Did I break into a new business channel? What we really should measure is activity. How many people did I connect with in an effort to continue to cultivate our relationship? How many new markets am I fully engaging with regularly? I know it seems counterintuitive but we should measure what we can control (what we do) and not get too hung up on the outcome (what they do). A heretic’s point of view you say? You’re right. Business, society, education, just about every area has us focus more on results than activity, but I have found that when we invert that formula and focus more on activity, when we do review our results, they are better!
Express Gratitude – Don’t think you have much to be grateful for? Hmmm really? How is it walking around with your eyes closed?
At least be grateful you haven’t tripped! Gratitude helps us to appreciate and take in all that is around us that fuels us, nurtures us, equips us, inspires us or just plain tolerates us. Be grateful regularly.
Celebrate – We seem to always be striving, but what about the celebrating some wins? Even small ones are worthy of celebration. Celebrate what you’ve learned, who you’ve helped, that you’re now expressing gratitude, that you’re seeing better results, heck celebrate not having road rage after you were cut off.
How would you rate yourself in each of these areas (0=bad, 5 = Great) ? Here is a recent Leadership Insight Webcast on this very subject.
What do you think? Is there a place for being happy in business?