But what creates happiness? And why does that make you a better leader? And further more, deliver good business results?
Ray Chambers, a former tough business man, now a philanthropist, has given some rules for happiness. 1. be in the moment 2. better loving than right 3. be a spectator to your own thoughts 4. be grateful for something every day 5. be service to others. Easy to say, why some of them are so hard to live by? And why they matter so much? I will discuss each more in detail a bit later. The big picture is very clear. Living up to those elements build the culture of you and your organisation. Sure you remember that culture is at least 30 % of the bottom line. This is what happiness is really about and that’s why I want to give you some food for thought on this!
1. Be in the moment. We are in the middle of a lot of information and demands. Multitasking is still a concept many believe in. Even we know, that multitasking actually takes about 30 % more time (than focusing on one thing at a time) and increases mistakes about 10 %. As a leader, being in the moment is also a great way to improve your teams engagement and commitment. Both elements which actually reduce the time needed for leading and managing our resources. So, how to be in the moment? There are 3 golden rules to help you: A) help your people to learn and grow through using open questions + B) when you are with people, never use digital devices at the same time + C) have clear goals for day/week/month. This means, that you need to lead your emotions, which often try to highjack your mind and behaviour.
2. Better loving than right. This may sound strange to you, but there is a brilliant thought in this. Being always right carries a major risk. You don’t see the opportunities arising from the changes in the business environment or new people. Getting your mind to the loving and accepting mode means that your brain is open to new ideas and solutions. As you have this approach to other people, you will get more ideas and hence your team will be more innovative and learning. But how to do that, when you know you are right? It starts with shifting your mind to asking one question “what can we build on this idea”? Many leaders have high tendency to be the decision maker and influencer. Which leads to fast denial of other peoples ideas. To slow down your process, the easiest way is to ask the other person to improve the idea. That way you will A) get the other person to review and improve the idea and B) you will find more ways to improve your business results.
3. Be a spectator to your own thoughts. Nothing is easier, than to take our thoughts as facts. The more busy we are, the more we operate on auto mode. Our thoughts become our behaviour. Repeating thoughts make us to feel that they are more reliable. The outcome is, that we start to deny new thinking. This happens to us all. All the time. To break that pattern stopping for a little moment is needed. Becoming a spectator of your thoughts doesn’t take long. After 4 weeks of practice you can change from actor to spectator in a matter or seconds. A good way to work on your thoughts is the 5*why process. This means that you take your thought and ask yourself “why I think this way?”. Write down your answer and then ask again. Go through process till you reach the real root cause.
4. Be grateful for something every day. Gratitude is what makes your stress level go down and your reactions will have more diversity and hence you can lead different people better. Looking at something to be grateful for every day gets you out of the loop of being busy and fighting all day long. To do it, and to get the most out of it, a daily note in your notebook is great. Write down and review your reasons for gratitude. That way you will boost your positivity and success
5. Be service to others. When you give, you get. If you want to get people to support you and deliver to you, you need to give them something first. As a leader, there are two things with the biggest power. Safety and respect. Giving those to people will make people to give in return. When you do the 4 first ones, you actually are of service. You build safety and respect in peoples mind, getting them to focus on their work, not on worrying what is going to happen to them.
What we have been discussing here, is really about using emotional intelligence for the best possible business results. We all are different in how our personality has developed. There is no absolute one and only right way to be a leader. But successful leaders find the way to be happy, to make their people feel valued and respected. Which is what success is really about!
Learning your strengths is the starting point. Then it is time to practice the lessons learnt in order to convert learning to skills!
Jack Welch, leader of GE, used this approach and he build an empire which stock value increased with 4000%. When we look at other truly successful businesses, we find the same approach there too. If you would like to learn more, we have helped hundreds, lets talk about building your success
Your partner in making change happen, Kari I. Mattila, emotional intelligence advisor