During my years in the corporate world as a leader, I met leaders in different levels who despite being “successful” professionals were not happy individuals. We already know that if you are not someone who seeks happiness by enjoying moments and being thankful, it will show in other roles of your life impacting the way others may see you.
Do you classify jobs by gender? What is your first reaction when you learn that the General Manager of a Regional Marine department is a female? Continue reading “Leadership is wearing high heels shoes and stepping strong.”
In my youngsters days, at some point, I felt uncomfortable when someone told me one of these phrases, and even though I’ve learned how to act upon them, these for me are the top 5 things no one enjoys listening to and I want to share them with you. I’m pretty sure you will even agree with me on the reasons why.
There are books, poems and articles that stay with you throughout your adult life. In my case I can cite one of each and recall the person – in all cases A family member – who originally brought them to my attention. When I look back I realise these were the people that influenced me in my early years. They set me on a path in pursuit of happiness and success.
A Book. As far as books go for me it has been ‘How to Win Friends & Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie that set me on my path. I have a 1977 paperback edition. The subtitle on the front cover says: ‘The phenomenal bestseller that is helping millions find success and happiness’. It’s well used, marked up with pencil and has post-it notes sticking out to draw me back to things I must have thought were important to me in the 1970s and beyond. I was introduced to this book by my late father-in-law Ken Smith. What’s even more exciting for me is that I now have Ken’s 1936 hardback imprint of the same book. And it has his pencil marks ups, which give me a great insight to what was important to him in the 1940s and 50s as he started out on his path to happiness and success in his life and in his career. The inside front cover of Ken’s book quotes Carnegie’s ‘Twelve things this book will help you achieve‘.
A Poem. The poem that influenced me was ‘If‘ by Rudyard Kipling which my mother Peggy sent me in 1968 when I had left home to go to University. I believe at that time she was offering me a pattern for my future life.
An Article. We have to wait until the new millennium for the article that has influenced both my wife and I ever since that time. It was my father-in-law Ken again who sent us a clipping from The Sunday Times of 30 January 2000 entitled ‘How to be Happy’. It was an article by Gyles Brandreth in which he interviewed the eminent Irish psychiatrist Dr Anthony Clare who offered his seven point plan for happiness. We have followed Dr Clare’s prescription ever since. And just last month my wife Sue introduced me to a new article in the Independent about a ten year research programme by ‘Happiness Expert’ Eric Barker. In the article the Indy’s lifestyle writer Kashmira Gander summarises “Eric Barker has spent almost a decade uncovering why some people seem more happy and successful than others, but his findings don’t always make for comfortable reading“.
There is a surprising fourth source of inspiration from a family member – a Document of State – but more of that later!
What can we learn about the Pursuit of Happiness and Success from these publications?
Everywhere I read I see articles about success and how to be successful. The truth is that we all are capable of being successful, however that will not be meaningful until we put love and passion into everything we do. Then, and only then, we will “feel” successful. That is when you reach the “Meraki” stage. Meraki is a Greek word that can be translated to the action of putting love and passion into everything you do.
I first started working with the Top Team at Maersk Northern Europe Liner Operations Cluster (NEULOC) in Rotterdam when I visited them to kick off the Coaching Master Class program in December 2012. At that time Hans Augusteijn was a Senior General Manager, a member of the senior management team and starting out on his coaching journey. Here he reflects on that journey three years on. What has he learned along the way? What can we learn from his experiences?