Leadership: What’s Happiness Got to do With it?

“Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof…..”

Like Pharrell Williams’ song, “Happy,”  gone wildly viral, so too are a multitude of books and articles focusing on happiness.

One of the descriptions in my branding, based on feedback, is that I am happy, joyful and exude ageless vigor.  I guess I have the happiness factor in my favor.

But what is it exactly?  How does it relate to our success?

Choose Happiness

Martin Seligman, PhD, author of several books including “Authentic Happiness” and “Learned Optimism,” started a reframing of psychology when he began to focus on promoting happiness and moved away from looking at sadness.

And, bottom line, it goes beyond “new age” or “pop psy.”  The research and neuroscience of it all points to the idea that we can significantly, no matter who we are or what we do, change our outlook and life satisfaction.

In an article in Success magazine titled “The Science of Being Happy” Shawn Achor (“The Happiness Advantage”) was quoted as saying,  “We are not our genes, our environments or our childhoods.  At least, we don’t have to be.  By changing our habits, we can trump even our genes.  We can all be glass-half-full people if we want.”

Tips For Being a Happy Leader

The happiness factor has everything to do with leadership.  How we lead our own lives impacts others on an individual or community level.  Happy leaders are more resilient and adaptable to change. Living by choice, not by chance, helps us to feel empowered; there are ways to add to our happiness factor by focusing on our mind and body experience.

Following are some tips to help you cultivate happiness.

  • View stress as a challenge, not a threat, by reframing into an opportunity to boost your immunity.
  • Think young and exude youthful vitality.
  • Cultivate an attitude of gratitude to help you stay positive.
  • Honor the past and celebrate the present; live in the NOW.
  • Real happiness is not a result of more things collected along with debt…it is our joy in meaning for self and others.
  • Live with intention; true purpose, not just activity, underlies resilience
  • Add physical movement, dance, singing, organized and unorganized exercise boosts immune system as it triggers endorphins, serotonin, etc. with great benefit.
  • Create a life blend
  • Give yourself things (activities, events) to look forward to.
  • Build a strong community in networks, social groups, and family & friends.
  • Give  yourself away in a good way by volunteering, random acts of kindness, you get the idea.

Whether leading in our individual lives or within organizations, or both in many cases, we need to understand that happiness has everything to do with  resilience, self-mastery, and leadership. Happy leaders are better equipped to withstand change and the vagaries that come with the job, and they also provide better guidance for their followers.


Join The Discussion

What do you do to keep yourself positive and happy?

How do you get back to happy when bad things happen?

Do you have any other tips to add?