Miserable leaders have miserable teams.
“I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast! And when I run, I feel His pleasure.” 1924 Olympic Gold Medalist in the 400m and missionary to China, Eric Liddell.
Overcome misery and fuel joy. Mihály Csíkszentmihályi calls “the pleasure of God” Flow. We often call it, “being in the zone.”
What feels good?
Energy is fueled by pleasure.
Enjoy leading or quarantine yourself. (Your team already wishes you would go away. Sadly, they might be better off if you did.)
Someone might object, “You can’t enjoy everything.” The implied conclusion of this statement is don’t emphasize pleasure because you can’t enjoy everything.
Any leader who prefers misery to pleasure should go follow their misery and free us from the burden of their presence.
Work is painful when leaders are joyless.
What gives you energy? What energizes others? Do more of that.
More pleasure please:
#1. Reflect on your impact:
Rate the energy level of people before and after spending an hour with you. Are they energized or drained?
Negative leaders drag you down more than positive leaders lift you up. (The Progress Principle)
The only thing more challenging than facing big problems is facing them with leaders that make you miserable.
#2. Stop killing joy:
Joy is energy. Why kill it?
Stop turning good news into bad because you want people to stay vigilant and work hard. Celebrate something!
Catastrophizing drains teams. Stop turning mole hills into mountains.
The ability to turn mole hills into mountains is not an admirable leadership talent.
One of the most neglected questions in leadership is, “What am I doing when I feel God’s pleasure?” If you don’t believe in God, ask yourself, “What am I doing when energy goes up and I lose track of time?”
Joy points the way.
How might leaders overcome misery and find joy?
How might leaders fuel joy in others?
Positive Leadership: 30 Must Have Traits and Skills (Positive Psychology)
The Power of Positive Leadership (John Gordon)