The Happiness Factor For Mindful Leaders

Research shows happiness increases productivity and makes us more successful.

Interestingly, it seems to help us:

  • to procrastinate less
  • be more motivated
  • have higher energy
  • increase concentration

To apply the happiness factor to your leadership requires mindfulness and self awareness!

It begins with you and how you lead your life, because if you cannot demonstrate a better way of being and be an example ofthe benefits, why should they follow?

Lead By Knowing Yourself

When the 75 members of Stanford Graduate School of Business’s Advisory Council were asked to recommend the most important capability for leaders to develop, their answer was nearly unanimous:self-awareness.

Leadership of self, others in a community, teams, and organizations requires that you blend your life and live it in a centered way.  To do this, you must practice the elusive discipline of knowing yourself.  Keep in mind that, no matter what leadership role you take on, be that as a colleague, a partner, a parent, or a friend, you can’t give what you don’t have.

If you are out of balance how can you provide balance to others?

This is most important because being happy from the inside out gives you the ability to have confidence and resiliency even when external variables are a challenge.  Happy leaders more easily temper their outlook and feelings.  Since thoughts drive our reality– why not make them positive, hopeful, and happy?

Make Happiness A Habit

Mindful leaders who appreciate the happiness factor know that focus on structure and habit are enablers.

They know that structure, rituals and habits are not deterrents to happiness but instead give us the order that can create creative spaces for happiness. Work on it…sometimes we need to clear out the clutter, the noise, the voices, the over stimulation around us…  Being mindful about happiness is not a mystery. You have to train your brain to be positive just like you work out your body. We have to work at being happy.

Shawn Achor, Positive Psychology advocate out of Harvard University and author of “The Happiness Factor” shares that one of the most important things that has been learned in last 10 years of research on happiness is:

“We can all be glass-half-full people if we want.”

Habits Achor shares that can feed the happiness factor are:

Expressing gratitude regularly
Strengthening  your social and/or family network
Performing acts of kindness in your community
Volunteering (flow state for “worth” ethic)
Physically moving, through exercise, dance, singing, as long as it’s movement you enjoy

I was also inspired by Sam Bern’s “My philosophy for a happy life” talk at TEDxMidAtlantic. Take a look at the video on YouTube, and I hope you get the same great feeling from this that I did.


Further Reading:

Knowing Your Authentic Self: What Does That Really Mean?
Leadership: What’s Happiness Got to Do With It?


Join The Discussion

Do you consciously strive to keep a positive outlook?
What are your “happiness habits”?
Do you find it hard work to maintain your happiness?
Or is it something that comes naturally to you?

Please share your thoughts in the comments, below.