Miserable Leaders Spread Misery
Miserable leaders spread misery everywhere they go. Enjoy leading or get out of leadership.
Stop spreading misery. Decide to enjoy leadership.
You won’t enjoy every aspect of leadership but choose happiness every chance you get. If patients and operating staff can dance before surgery, you can smile once in a while.
Reject the imagined connection between important and somber. Some leaders walk around like they were weened on pickles and bathed in vinegar. News Flash! It’s OK to laugh.
Unhappy leaders have unhappy teams.
Show interest in people with a smile on your face. Everything isn’t heart surgery.
Have fun before doing serious work. You won’t enjoy tough conversations. Write a few thank you notes before you terminate an employee.
Don’t let serious work be the reason you’re serious all the time.
Reconnect with purpose. Everything isn’t fun, but purpose is the reason you do difficult work. Purpose doesn’t make hard work easy; it provides persistence. Find a good reason to do hard things or leading will be misery.
Reject the notion that enjoyment and frivolous need to be the same thing.
Let someone care for you. Find a friend outside your organization. Don’t lead alone.
Express gratitude. Force yourself to notice something good. Stop waiting for perfection to express gratitude and affirmation.
You want your team to enjoy work, but you don’t. Hypocrites expect something from others that they don’t do themselves.
Self-assessment: Would your team be surprised if you smiled or laughed during a meeting? If the answer is yes, you’re a downer. Stop spreading misery.
What if your team is happy in spite of you, not because of you?
How might leaders stop spreading misery?
Patients instead of patience.
Great blog, Dan. When you are a leader, like it or not – people are observing you constantly. And the way, you carry and conduct yourself – your body language and facial expressions in the context of a conversation/meeting or outside of it are going to be an important factor in how those you lead perceive you. Does not mean that you cannot have ever have a neutral or serious expression on your face (there is a time and place for that) – but, leading with a smile should be the default operating mode.
The last time I checked – most leaders did not just witness a patient pass out on the operating table. So, there is no reason for an expression or look that symbolizes that.
Keep it simple; keep it drama free and smile often!
Thanks MN. Love the patient passing out illustration. 🙂
I can’t help but think that part of the sour puss problem comes from wrong assumptions about leadership. Or, maybe we just get too big for our britches.
That’s a wake up call… “Enjoy leading or get out of leadership.”
As leaders our demeanor matters, more than we often think. Head down and pushing forward without looking up can slow the rest of the team down. However, working with a team that has a common goal and be inspiring and fun.
Thanks for the post. A quick slap in the face to make sure we are here for a reason.
Thanks Owen. The thing that hits me in your comment is “head down.” You might be able to do your own work with your head down, but you sure can’t lead with your head down.
Refreshing blog Dan. Thank you for brightening my day with these reminders.
Thanks Daphne. Enjoy!
Dan great blog and food for thought.
Misery starts in the mind. Some people only know how to live in a turmoil environment. Wherever they go they carry this environment with them (misery).Living outside this environment creates uneasiness. Its challenging to stop spreading misery.
thank you for this post. I really enjoyed it reading it, what it tied it all together for me was when you talked about “show interest in people with a smile in your face” and “express gratitude” in my opinion having interest in other people gives purpose to what we are doing, after all we live in a community and not in isolation and one way or another we are all connected, then gratitude makes us reflect on our motives.
“Purpose doesn’t make hard work easy; it provides persistence” – superb
Dan, this is a great topic and an important one. You made some very interesting points throughout the post. The second sentence of the post is spot on where you stated, “Enjoy leading or get out of leadership.” There is so much truth with this statement. If a leader does not truly enjoy leading or willing to spend time investing in people, then it is not for them and that is okay. Not everyone is cut out to be a leader over a group or organization. Everyone to some degree must lead, but not everyone needs to be in a management leadership position. As a manager you no longer have just your personal issues, but you also are involved with the issues (to some degree) of the people you supervisor.
As a leader it is key that you are approachable and willing to listen. Leaders must be willing to be happy and allow that happiness spill throughout the team. Leaders must be willing to laugh and at certain times be serious. There must be a balance between the two. If a team member believes that a leader does not take anything serious, it will create an issue between the team. At the same time, a leader must not be too stiff or always serious. Team members will hesitate to approach the leader.
You asked the question how might leaders stop spreading misery? Leaders must first acknowledge and understand how team members view them. A leader may believe they are approachable and not always serious, but body language and tone of voice tells team members a different view. Leader must have open communication with someone who can provide honest viewpoints. This could be another leader in a different position, the leader’s supervisor or a trusted member of the team. The leader should also look inward and ask if they were a team member is this the type of leader I would want as a supervisor.