The Secret to Creating Happiness
Happiness is more a function of attitude than environment. People in the same environment may be happy or sad depending on their attitude.
Happiness within organizations:
Commitment is fundamental to happiness. Committed people are happier than uncommitted. Committed people work to make things work. Uncommitted people stand aloof, find fault, and inevitably grow unhappy.
We enhance our happiness quotient with our ability to make deep commitments. Half commitments are fully dissatisfying.
Successful leaders help others rise above completing tasks to making deep commitments. Commitments enhance buy-in; buy-in enhances happiness.
Help others deeply commit by:
- Providing channels for meaningful contribution. Everyone wants to matter.
- Helping them see where they fit in. Everyone needs to connect.
- Appreciating, recognizing, and rewarding.
- Elevating belief in their potential. This may be the most important thing you do.
- Developing their skills. Personal growth invites and excites.
- Leveraging their strengths. Although fixing is necessary, do it less.
- Making progress. Success invites commitment. Create and celebrate small wins.
Organizational vision that expresses personal values produces passionate commitment. Jim Collins would say, “Get the right people on the bus.” The “right” people share values.
Commitment and dissatisfaction:
Deeply committed people may become deeply dissatisfied.
- Dreaming dreams that don’t succeed frustrates.
- Miscommunication regarding values disappoints.
- Feeling unsupported and unappreciated drains commitment.
Don’t expect them to be committed to you
if you aren’t committed to them.
Danger and opportunity:
Weak commitment results in dissatisfaction; dissatisfaction produces blame. The uncommitted always blame, point fingers, assign fault, and self-justify.
Commitment, on the other hand, produces responsibility. Committed people figure out how to make things work. Committed people are always happier than uncommitted.
How can leaders invite others to make deep commitments?
Great post, Dan. Although, in my mind, I would substitute the word joy for happiness. Happiness for most, depends upon what happens to them, joy is from within. Since commitment comes from within, it leads to joy.
Thank you Dan.
This is a timely reminder especially at this stage of the year and a few goals still in the balance.
Thank you Chris.
I hadn’t thought about mid-year but we are on the downward slope of 2012… wow!
Thanks for the post. I especially like your commitment #4- elevating potential. Managers/ leaders tend to fill a position and expect some to stay there forever. Everyone needs a path to advancement: receptionist, admins, maintenance, laborers, etc. Tough to get this through to traditional thinkers! Happiness is being a real contributor and visualizing a future of growth! Thanks for your thoughts!
Thank you Joe.
Let’s face it. It can be hard to see a great employee move up, from a selfish point of view. But, we should consider what happens to people who are qualified to move up but don’t… they tend to move out.
Yes that is tough -when you feel responsible. I think they key is to provide a path for advancement for everyone. Then I f they leave for a better opportunity you get to celebrate with them! See the difference?
Beautiful. .. It’s encouraging to see the path forward/upward. It’s gives us all something to work toward. Progress is so encouraging.
Thanks for this post, Dan. I think happiness is such a simple and important concept that isn’t discussed enough. Too often we dismiss it as being irrelevant or soft, when actually, as you point out, it is foundational to essential aspects of organizational success like commitment, engagement and focus.
Thank you Jesse,
Happiness does sound like a frivolous word. I wonder if our focus on results doesn’t distract us from this important idea? Although some might say that achieving results makes us happy. 🙂
It’s almost like we have to justify happiness by demonstrating how it affects business results rather than simply valuing it as a natural and desirable human state.
I was struck by how dangerous an uncommitted team member could be. This is especially true if the team member is one of your best. This probably means that something happened within your organization that as a leader you need to deeply reflect on, find, and fix.
Thank you Alice.
I couldn’t agree more. Of all the things leaders need to move quickly to solve this must be near the top of the list.
Your opening line probably says it all. Attitude is everything. Many people do not even knwo what they truly want or what truly matter and they chase everything around and missing what is important in their life.Thanks for at least reminding some of us.
Thank you Lanre.
I got the picture of a squirrel darting back and forth on the road while a car is barreling down on them… back and forth and then .. ugh.
Reblogged this on My Happiness Experiment and commented:
If you’re interested in Leadership as I am, this is a great blog from ‘Leadership Freak’ about developing and honouring commitment in yourself and others. I love the line: “Don’t expect them to be committed to you
if you aren’t committed to them.”
Thanks Dan – I loved this post. Reblogged!
I particularly liked “Don’t expect them to be committed to you
if you aren’t committed to them.”
Dan Pink when talking about motivation at work said that the 3 key points to remember are Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. (You can see him talking about this on TED or on YouTube).
Autonomy:- Are you and your staff feeling they have the ability to ‘hoe their own row’ – be trusted to make their own decisions etc.?
Mastery: – Are you and your staff feeling you are learning and gaining in skill and wisdom?
Purpose:- Do you and your staff feel that you are operating inside of something meaningful and bigger than yourselves – something of worth to others and the world?
To me these 3 things – Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose are the key to happiness in every aspect of life.
Have a great day.
Thank you Theresa.
I love Pink’s work and his videos on YouTube are great. Thanks for extending the conversation.
Dan-you provide a great list of practical steps leaders can take to build up there team. The quote at the end rings loud and clear. There are too many leaders who demand total commitment yet don’t take steps so that the employee feels like it is reciprocal….
Thank you Christian. I know you are in the thick of living out leadership. Best to you.
Thank you, Dan!
When I interpret this, it appears to be more of an approach to fix people. Was that the intent?
I invented Servant Teamwork as an approach to prevent the historical divide between the leader and the led. The stongest organizations see leadership as a relationship between the leader and the led, so how do you create that environment. It is a combination of self, group and PURPOSE dicovery.
In today’s knowledge-worker society we need for all people in the organization to lead and learn to improve the well-being of one another. If I know you care about me, I will (more than likely) care about you. So in just looking at point one; people want to matter in different ways. If I am a leader and I assume your path, I have falied you.
Dan Forbes above talks about JOY, I talk about POP Cultures, think PURPOSE, think OTHERS, then PERSONAL. When we take this approach all (that are interested) win.
Thanks Dan for letting us all share in your work.
Thank you Jim.
No intent to fix people but who knows what lies underneath the outer self? 🙂