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StrategyMay 01, 2012

Lessons in Happiness and Leadership

Kyle Wahlquist

When skimming my Facebook feed this morning I noticed that a few of my friends had all read an article entitled “15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy.”   After reading it, I not only saw how these tips could be used for personal improvements, but also for professional improvements; in particular, for growing or refining successful leadership traits.  Some that stood out to me were …

Give up control

Good leaders are leading themselves, their families and others all the time.  This does not mean they are controlling everyone all the time.  Benevolent leaders put others interests ahead of their own interests. When they fail to do this they ask for forgiveness and seek to reconcile any relationships they have damaged.  Good leaders don’t try to control, they encourage, help and set others up for success.

Give up on blame

Blame will never lead to a resolution, as blaming someone else is an excuse and a waste of time.  Good leaders look for ways to move from issues to options. They provide clarity on the facts and a recommendation to move forward together towards something better.  Anytime you can blame a problem, you are missing the opportunity to owning the solution.

Give up resistance to change

In my previous article on Change Management, I discussed that change is an inevitable occurrence, and successful ownership and management of it can make or break companies and leaders.

Give up self-defeating self-talk

One of the hardest things to do is to overcome yourself. Character (not competence) is the iceberg that sinks many a leader. When you are a child, your parents tell you “you can do anything.” Contrast that with the “no you can’t” mantra that resonates in many organizations.  Self-doubt happens to all of us and it is important to fight the urge to allow passivity or discouragement to set in.

What other similarities do you see with some of these goals for being happier in the workplace and in life?   Will creating a personal leadership culture in your company cultivate happiness among your employees?

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