“Positive leaders manage their organisations more effectively. They create a positive environment by focusing on challenges and opportunities; not problems. They express acknowledgment and genuine, heartfelt appreciation for work well done. This creates trust, lowers stress levels and increases productivity.”

Leonardi argues in an article in Business Week that leaders who focus on employee strengths, praise, link rewards to performance results, help employees become better self-managers and maintain a cheerful, positive and optimistic attitude, regardless of what is happening, manage the bad times much better. She mentions research shows that people with higher levels of wellbeing and, thus, positive emotion are:
  • More focused and engaged at work;
  • Better team players;
  • More creative;
  • Better at problem solving; and
  • More motivated, healthier and better performers.
For organisations, these readily translate into improved revenue, profitability, staff retention, customer loyalty and workplace safety. To this end, 12 happiness strategies are mentioned in the article as highlighted by Sonja Lyubomirsky, Professor in the department of psychology at the University of California, Riverside and the author of The How of Happiness.
  1. Practice gratitude and positive thinking;
  2. Cultivate optimism – find the silver lining;
  3. Take your mind off comparing yourself to others;
  4. Practice acts of kindness;
  5. Nurture social relationships and invest in social connections;
  6. Develop a strategy for tragedy;
  7. Forgive – be willing to let go of past hurt;
  8. Increase flow experiences (being in the zone);
  9. Savour the joys of life;
  10. Commit to goals;
  11. Practice spirituality; and
  12. Take care of your soul and your body: Exercise, meditate and act happy.
by Christine Leonardi