Earlier this year, I completed the design of a psychometric Happiness instrument. It’s an online self-assessment on a personal Happiness score with subsequent feedback on areas to focus. Last year, I was struck during a global leadership conference at all the speakers and breakout sessions by the similarities in everything being said/discussed. I heard there are about 200 leadership books/articles published each month and hundreds more blogs and such. What became evident was that there is no shortage of what a good leader is, what it takes to be a good leader and how to grow to be a good leader. I have argued before that perhaps it is not leadership skills that leaders lack but in fact, something much simpler: Happiness.
I see too many good leaders make poor decisions because on that day or instant, they were distracted emotionally. In hindsight, they quickly realized their error. I also see too many bad leaders check off the ‘good leader’ boxes and fake their way to senior roles. They have the ability for the leadership skills required, but are emotionally far from being happy. A key attribute of a happy person is an innate desire to make others around them happy as well. I do not know any truly happy person who exhibits poor leadership attributes and often times without any leadership framework. They are just ‘good folks’ we all love and envy. Conversely, I know plenty of leaders who are unhappy and with or without mal-intent, make everyone around them miserable.
Could it be we have it all wrong? Is it leadership skills that is missing or happiness? I am convinced, beyond doubt, that it is the latter. I have seen first hand that when I am hired to coach a leader, and I instead focus on their happiness, they, as a by-product, become better leaders and not just at work (one dimensional) but in almost all areas of their lives. This is a different approach than what I used to do where I focused on Leadership skills and had mixed results. This week, consider both and where you have or are investing your time. I suspect you have several leadership models you have learned over the years. Do you have any Happiness framework? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a free link to the Happiness Assessment to get you started.