“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” ~ Buddha
We recently completed our fourth SIGMA Marketing Group Employee Book Club discussion. The most recent book, Delivering Happiness, by Tony Hsieh, is truly a solid piece that resonates with me on multiple levels. The importance of culture is so critical and such an important piece of business success, and yet so often overlooked.
If you have read any of my previous blog articles, you may recall that I am a strong believer that your thoughts create your destiny. Who doesn’t want to be happy and have that as part of their destiny? It goes hand in hand that to truly be happy you need to think positively, surround yourself with happy people. We are at work the majority of our waking hours – we need for the culture to be positive, inspiring, encouraging of our passion, aligned with our personal core values, and, yes, a place you are happy to go to every day.
Many studies have shown that engaged employees are more productive and that the positive correlation is key to strong business results. Other studies have shown that the number of good friends an employee has at work is correlated with how engaged that employee is. Johnathan Haidt, author of The Happiness Hypothesis, summarizes that happiness doesn’t come primarily from within, but rather from between. I believe that happiness, the pursuit of happiness, is both within and between. It is a conscious choice to pursue, to value, to aspire and inspire happiness.
In the Happiness Framework 2, Hsieh summarizes how Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs can be compared to employees' needs. At the foundation, we all need to meet minimum requirements (food/shelter/adequate pay – money), but then we start the pursuit of growth/development and self-actualization. We use Topgrading as our recruiting process at SIGMA, and this process helps to identify the A-players who possess the values of Smart – Hungry – Humble that align with the pyramid and the pursuit of something bigger than ourselves.
Hsieh summarizes in his Happiness Framework 3 that there are three types of Happiness: Pleasure, Passion and Higher Purpose. Too often we seek short-term immediately gratifying pursuits that provide pleasure. But happiness is a long term journey, not a short-term destination.
On page 176, Hsieh asks some thought provoking questions, which I encourage you to spend a few minutes pondering:
- How much do people enjoy working with you?
- How can you improve those relationships?
- What new relationships can you build throughout the company beyond just the co-workers that you work with on a daily basis?
- How do you WOW the people that you have relationships with? How can you make your relationships more open and honest?
- How can you do a better job of communicating with everyone?
I applaud the book Delivering Happiness, and it's website, The Happiness Project, which you can check out at www.deliveringhappiness.com, where you can join the movement.
“For individuals, character is destiny. For organizations, culture is destiny.” ~ Tony Hsieh
Be a bright candle that lights up the world. Use your candle to brighten up the world around you.