Tom Rath and Jim Harter conducted extensive research for their book entitled Well-Being: The Five Essential Elements. The resulting key insight, which should be no surprise to experienced workers and leaders in the workplace, is this: “The secret to a happy life is rooted to a large extent in interactions with co-workers and bosses.” I would refer to “bosses” as leaders rather than bosses… but we will address that issue another day.
In a recent interview with Inc. Magazine, Tom Rath said, “Many people actually say cleaning the house is more enjoyable than sitting in the same room with their boss. Yet in the best workplaces that we’ve studied, workers want to spend time around their bosses, because they know that they care about them as individuals, what’s going on in their lives, and their career development.”
You are a leader! Remember… we are all leaders in many different areas of our personal and professional lives. Yes, you are a leader at work… regardless of your title! Each and every day, you lead. We are also followers in many different areas of our personal and professional lives. Yes, you are a follower at work… regardless of your title! Each and every day you follow. It is not a question as to whether you lead and follow on a daily basis… the only question is how and why!
So, are you a good leader, a good manager, a good boss? Tom Rath defines a good manager as follows: “When you think about the way good managers invest time in the development of employees, it looks a lot like what great teachers and great parents do. They see all of the employees as unique individuals. They know their strengths. They help them celebrate successes. And they’re clear about expectations, so their employees know what they’re supposed to be doing on a daily basis.”
Using this definition, are you a good leader, a good manager, a good boss? Are you creating well-being and happiness in the workplace? Are you creating well-being and happiness not just through your words and intent, but far more important, through your actions on a daily basis?
As a follower, are you creating well-being and happiness in the workplace? Are you creating well-being and happiness not just through your words and intent, but far more important, through your actions on a daily basis?
By the way, if you find it impossible for whatever reason in your current job or environment, to lead and follow in a way that creates well-being and happiness, find a new job or environment. Life is way too short and far too priceless to live (8 to 10 hours a day) and work in such an environment. Choose well-being and happiness… and if not possible for whatever reason… make a change. The sooner the better!
CREATE AND MAINTAIN A HAPPY WORK LIFE. Now that is a concept worthy of life-long pursuit!