How can you become a leader who actually follows through on their ideas and takes the risks that make successful outcomes possible? The secret ingredients are here for all of us to take advantage of, but only few understand the power of resilience and happiness. Start to that you can embrace, which will put you far ahead of all your colleagues.
Author and Harvard professor, Shawn Achor, has spent years researching happiness, and how we can utilize it to increase personal effectiveness. As a side benefit, we also know that his research findings also will help us all improve our professional presence. Here is why. Our natural tendency is to set a goal and put off happiness until we reach that goal. But what do we do when we reach our goal? We increase the stakes and set a new standard, putting off our happiness again. Most people go through their entire career setting new goals, putting off happiness until it has been reached, then resetting that goal. Dr. Achor’s assertion is that this is exactly opposite of the way we should be addressing our professional and personal lives.
You may think that happiness can be predicted by outside circumstance, but surprisingly, that is only accurate some of the time. That means your job, the type of school you may have attended, perceptions about how happy you are because of your title, et cetera, all only account for 10% of how you really feel about your life.
Moreover, only 25% of job successes are predicted by IQ. The rest of success is predicted by your optimism levels, social support, and your ability to see stress as a new challenge. That leads us to the next secret ingredient to success: resilience.
According to Achor, when your brain is set to ‘positive’ versus ‘anxious’ or ‘stressed’ it performs at a higher level, every business outcome improves, you are 30% more productive and 30% better at sales activities. All of this tells us that we need to reverse how we see the world. Start with happiness. This will get the dopamine flowing in your brain, which turns on the learning centers of your brain.
A recent Harvard Business Review blog post claims that what matters most to success is resilience. Failure is certain. Recovery only happens for some of us, and it is fully in our control. Research has shown that resilient leaders show the following characteristics:
Grit: Short-term focus on tasks at hand, a willingness to slog through broken systems with limited resources, and pragmatic problem-solving skills.
Courage: Action in the face of fear and embracing the unknown.
Commitment: Long-term optimism and focus on big-picture goals.
If you look around you, in your own organization or colleagues in your position throughout your industry, you will certainly see many qualified professionals who bring expertise and exceptional skills to their work. But that is not enough. What you need, in order to stand out from the pack, is the ability to pick up yourself and your team, when you are in the midst of a difficult and tense product rollout or situation at work.
Ask yourself, can you dig in and get to work on solutions to short-term problems, while keeping in mind long-term goals, knowing that the short-term challenges are one of the steps to arriving at your long-term destination?
It’s time to work happy and practice radical resilience. You will see yourself increase your professional presence, improve personal effectiveness and be more successful at communicating to manage the performance of your team members.
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