Leadership and Emotions – Joy

by | Jul 6, 2022 | Personal Growth, Professional Growth

“The more we turn toward others, the more we experience, and the more we experience, the more we can bring joy to others.”

– Dalai Lama

Every June we celebrate Father’s Day. Fathers can be a key figure in our development journey. A role well played by many, and for some a struggle or complete failure. Leaders also influence our path, spreading joy as well as sorrow.

Fathers and leaders shape how we see the world, and how we relate with others. They leave a mark.

I recently read a story about a young woman recalling the relationship she had with her father, who had recently passed away. Her memory was joy left the room when he walked in. A heartbreaking image that caused me to think of my role as a father, as well as my leadership style.

As I reflect on my leadership style, two questions come to mind.

  • What happens when I enter the room?
  • Do I bring light to a conversation, or darkness?

I hope the light switch I flip is bright and enables others to see. The reality is it has a dimmer switch based on my reputation, and how I behave.

What light am I projecting as a leader? The mark I hope to leave is joy.

First, let’s take a closer look at joy and satisfaction. Early in my leadership career, my focus was on employee satisfaction. I listened to the wants of my people, responded with resources, and the company measured my supervisory impact through an employee satisfaction survey. A logical plan that resulted in meeting basic expectations.

Today there is a greater appreciation for creating an expectation of experiencing joy at work. Realizing satisfaction is a modest standard. That talented people seek engagement, fulfillment, and joy. A higher standard. A calling.

Leading with joy is the next level and requires a new leadership mindset. The mindset moves from self to others. Serving their needs, not wants.

How do leaders create an environment generating joy versus simply giving people what they want?

Check yourself against these leadership practices. Find one or two areas to lift your people up. And by lifting them up, you also lift yourself up.

The goal of being human is to live with joy and purpose, including our professional careers. Leaders understand our workplaces can be a joy wasteland. They inspire hope by turning toward others, sharing their experiences, and leading through joyful practices. Entering the room as a leader is a privilege – what will be your mark?

Leading Your Team

Giving feedback to your boss, and encouraging your direct reports to give you feedback, is an art. Here is a quick read on how to build this skill effectively.

Giving and Encouraging Feedback

Read to Lead

Leaders benefit from being active readers, long reads not just social media posts and news feeds. A deep read builds concentration, strengthens your intellectual capacity, and offers wisdom you can share. As you refresh or build your reading habit, diversify your experience – old, new, fiction, non-fiction, audio, hard cover, and e readers.


My May & June favorites:

From Strength to Strength by Arthur Brooks

Great read on how we need to better understand the impact of the decline of our professional abilities. We all decline with age and how we handle it is critical to our future path. The author guides us toward how we can positively impact others through wisdom even when our functions begin to fade.


Nomadland by Jessica Bruder

Interesting account of the increasing population of people who no longer own a home. These people are our employees and customers – we need to better understand their lifestyle and needs.


Have a great week!