Have you ever wondered how to be more happy? Grumpy leaders don’t make good leaders.
You most likely won’t see happiness in a job description for a leader. However, it is a quality that makes a big difference in your ability to lead. Happy leaders are more resilient under pressure, they tend to be more focused and are usually more approachable. Understanding how to be more happy can make you a better leader.
Not too long ago I was at a sporting event that one of my sons was participating in. The person I was siting next to was very negative. You know the type; negative about the players, the coaches, the officials, the temperature of the facility etc…
I tried to change the topic several times to no avail. He wasn’t happy, and I was finding myself less and less happy as well. My mood was changing. Eventually I found a reason to excuse myself and sit somewhere else.
Now, let me start by saying, I am not perfect. There are things I complain about from time to time as well. But for the most part I am a pretty positive person.
How comfortable are you around people that constantly whine, complain and criticize? Does it drag you down too? What kind of leader would you rather be around?
So how can you be a more happy leader? Here are five things you can start doing now.
1. Stay away from negative people and be positive. Positive leaders live longer. Research shows that positive people in general live happier and longer lives. It is difficult to be positive if all you hear is negative. So choose not to be around such energy suckers.
And choose not to be an energy sucker yourself. Make valid attempts to find the positive in every situation.
2. Act happy, even if you aren’t. Fake it ’til you feel it, works. Research shows that by smiling you improve your mood. Try it some time. Look at the mirror and smile big. You can’t help but feel happier.
3. Serve. I am always most happy when I forget about myself and serve others. There is a positive correlation between serving others and happiness. There are many opportunities to do so, we just need to look.
4. Organize yourself. A messy desk is not only an energy zapper, but a mood sucker too! People who are organized are generally more happy. Chaos leads to stress, which can lead to not feeling very happy. Notice how you feel after you clean a closet, a garage or your email. It’s a good feeling!
5. Eat that frog! I love what Mark Twain once said. “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”
Why spend all day worrying about a call you have to make, or meeting with a difficult client or employee? Do it first thing in the morning! If you do, you will find your energy increases as well as your focus. You are happier that you did. Eat that frog!
Question: What other tips do you have on how to be more happy as a leader? I would love to hear your ideas? How has a happy leader or leaders made a difference in your life?