Lead with Happiness

March 11, 2022
Lead with Happiness

Have you ever had a colleague or leader who was great to work with? Someone who could share and support your ideas, network with everyone, and see challenges as opportunities for creative solutions?

These characteristics of a great team member (and leader) have little to do with intelligence or technical ability. Instead, they are reflections of a positive attitude.

So what can you do as a leader to encourage happiness within your team? Here are some places to start.

Gratitude at Work

There's a famous TEDTalk by Shawn Achor, in which Shawn shares research indicating that happiness inspires productivity. He also provides excellent advice for developing happiness in your own life.

This is my favorite quote from the video: “[It’s] the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality. And if we can change the lens, not only can we change your happiness, we can change every single educational and business outcome at the same time.” – Shawn Achor

So how do you maintain a positive attitude? Start with gratitude! Studies show that gratitude reduces depression, deepens relationships, improves optimism, and even extends lives.

I loved Shawn’s ideas for gratitude. Take a few minutes each day to document three things you’re grateful for. Journal about a positive experience at least once a day. Send an email every day praising or thanking someone.

Show gratitude to your team, and lead them to develop grateful behavior as well. One great idea is to ask each member of the team to acknowledge a colleague they’re grateful for during your weekly sales meetings.

To get you started, we have an eBook on to cultivate a practice of gratitude. Click on the link below!

Being a Grateful Leader
How to Practice Gratitude to Improve Your Life & Work
Download Now

Celebrate Successes

Business, and especially sales, moves quickly. As soon as you achieve one goal you’re already behind your timetable for achieving the next one.

As a leader, you have the opportunity to hit pause for a moment and celebrate what you’ve achieved. Rather than moving on to the next item on the list, look back at what you’ve done. Recognize the people who have contributed, and reflect on what you’ve learned and developed.

You can even build a routine out of this practice! Maybe once a month, you have an all staff meeting there you highlight the achievements of different teams or team members. Or when someone's been particularly busy or working a lot, the company sends them a care package that shows they're thinking of them and proud of their hard work.

In short, acknowledgment goes a long way!

Purpose Yields Happiness

One hot button topic has been “The Great Resignation” – a trend of people quitting their jobs over the last two years. Businesses are struggling to keep a full staff, and are having trouble hiring and filling open positions.

Retention is especially important nowadays, and as a leader, it can feel like the pressure is on to keep your people engaged and feeling appreciated.

One way to do this is find purpose at work, in ways both big and small. Find big picture purpose, but also highlight the ways in which your team collaborates and supports one another.

Finding purpose can help keep your team engaged, curious, and thoughtful. Here at CFS, we have a weekly podcast called Let's Talk Sales. Check out these two episodes on Driving Employee Engagement and Emotional Leadership from two expert speakers, and learn more about discovering purpose at work and staying engaged.

Let's Talk Sales!
Hosted by Elizabeth Frederick
Listen now!

Do you have other suggestions for happy leadership? What are you doing to change the lens through which your brain views the world? Tell us in the comments!


  • Will Voelkel - Reply

    It’s always interesting to see and read how research supports the what is obvious in practice: in this case, that while leaders need to create and communicate vision, be strategic thinkers, and model behaviors consistently, the “intangibles” (such as positive attitude, visible and ongoing support for their people, and authenticity) are just as – or more – important.

  • Elizabeth Frederick - Reply

    Thanks, Will! Great point. We like to see the research, but much of what works in management is basic common sense.

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