Tag Archives: Happiness

Why independence doesn’t mean being a lone wolf.


Main Squeeze sent me this a few days ago; said it reminded her of me.  You see I don’t enjoy organizational politics at all (who does?) and I’ve never been much good at kow-towing.

I shared it with my friend and business partner, who wondered if “wolves”, being great at “lone”, might then not be good at playing on a team.  At the time I thought that’s maybe where the analogy breaks down, but in hindsight the comparison of a wolf to an independent man or woman is apt. (Doesn’t that always happen – you think of what to say, but way, way too late.)

Being of independent mind does not mean going it alone.  It means thinking for yourself and deciding when its good to work with others.

Working in a team, even one with a leader, doesn’t mean you need to bow, buckle under, or “perform”.  It means you acknowledge that your interests are aligned with the groups’; that cooperating will get you all further; that you’re hunting in a pack, as it were.

The thing is, if you’re the leader of the pack, remember that your goals, (your own, and the organizations’), will be better served if those on your team are “thinking followers“, not performing animals.  Interact with them accordingly and they’ll stay engaged and motivated.  Treat them like monkeys and the better ones will be gone, and those left will not move unless you say so, or promise them a treat.

Whether you lead only your self, or a team of one hundred, your foundational attribute has to be independence.  That is, you need to choose to stay switched on and focused; you must be willing to think, analyze, judge, and make decisions; and you need the courage, confidence and drive to initiate action.

Sometimes you’ll choose to follow the direction set by someone else, or to take advice, or to work collaboratively.  Never should you jump because your fear a whip or want shiny baubles.







Delivering Happiness

When I get time to read again, one of the first books on my list is “Delivering Happiness”, by Zappos founder, Tony Hsieh.  Also on that list will be several of the books in the presentation below.

Maybe there’s a few here for you too.  I’ve only read some of these, so can’t vouch for them all, but anyone who is as obsessed with team and customer happiness as Tony seems to be, must be at least a better-than-average judge of on-topic reading material.


It’s All About You

Stop worrying about other people.

Okay, your spouse, your kids, your family, the people you love, the people you’re responsible for, them you can look out for. Apart from them though, just worry about you.

Your primary job is to make you happy. Whatever it takes, without infringing on anyone else.

Your one overriding goal, is to die happy.  And nobody can do it for you.

That’s all.

What will it take?

What method will you use?

Are you spreading real happiness?

Leading for Happiness

GOOD leadership, ultimately, is about creating happiness.

I know that sounds naff, naive even, but hear me out.  It’s a principle at the heart of Method Leadership and one I’m going to return to often.

Your customer buys your good or service because it will solve a problem or meet a need.  If it does that well, it helps them to achieve a value, which is the precursor of happiness.

Your investor(s) wants a certain return on equity.  Succeed, provide that, and they’ll be happy.

Your employees want to feel that they add value to an enterprise whose purpose has meaning for them, and of course, to earn fair remuneration.  Ensure that, and they’ll be happy.

If you deliver to all stakeholders, you gain the satisfaction of a job well done, and get rewarded financially.  That hopefully makes you happy.  [If it doesn’t, you may be in the wrong job.]

It may sound too simple, but it’s not.  If you’re an organizational leader, think happiness.  It’s not easy, because sometimes it seems each stakeholder’s happiness will come at the cost of another stakeholder’s.  That’s where you come in.

A big part of your job is ensuring not only that all stakeholders’ objectives are aligned, but also that they know it.

Then there’s morale.  It’s top-down.  Organizational leader’s set the mood and define the culture.  A smile, respect, consideration, gratitude, and the big one; justice*.  These together create a valuable workplace, and value means happiness.

If you still think this sounds too easy, you’re right.  Because it’s not easy.  In fact, at times, it’s downright difficult.   Tough choices need to be made.  Ask any parent about “tough-love”.  That’s one of the reasons why organizational leader’s have a role.

I’ve found though, that if you look past all the complexities, the challenges, the friction, and keep an eye on the end-goal, making stakeholders happy, you stay focused on what matters.

Life’s too short to deal with @#$%holes, or to be one.  And spreading happiness is much more fun.

*Justice is vitally important.  It deserves a post of its own.  Stay tuned.  Maybe you want to subscribe.  Just enter your email on the right there, or click the “follow” tab if you’re a wordpresser.  Then you wont miss it.