Hey Leaders: Who Killed the Bluebird of Happiness?

Bluebird of happiness

Have you ever wondered why the Bluebird of Happiness is blue?

… And is he really happy?  Not so sure… I’d say that being blue is a clue.

The happiness part is just a front.  It’s time the bird start taking a good hard look around his organization and see what’s really going on.

Leaving Your Boss

You have heard for a number of years now in various research settings and books that – “most employees don’t leave their jobs, they leave their managers.” 

They leave their managers, not their leaders.

Why do employees leave their managers? 

  • Because they make them “blue”
  • They make them unhappy
  • They make them not want to come into work
  • And not want to work for (with) you

Manager or Leader?

Just because people accomplish what you want them to, and they’re hitting goals, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a leader.  It may just mean you’re a good manager.

Last month on the day that Michael Hyatt’s new book came out, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World (which is excellent by the way,) someone posted a comment on Amazon about what a scam it was because he already had 74 great comments posted.

To put a long story short, when new books are getting ready to be published, a number of people, including “experts” are given pre-launch copies for review – hence the 74 comments.

Well you should have seen all of the people that commented back in Hyatt’s defense.  There’s a good definition of a leader.  Now think a moment . . . If you were “attacked” or “under the gun” from customers or superior’s, would you have in instant following standing up for you?

C’mon get Happy

So what do you managers need to do to become leaders – to get your staff to follow you?  Think of the ‘70’s TV show, “The Partridge Family” – c’mon get happy.

I know you’ve heard it a hundred times before (at least), but some people still just can’t grasp it . . . you are role models for your staff!  But you say (I’ve actually heard it), “I’m not here to be a role model, I’m here to get a job done”.  I say ‘bull hockey’!  You can get a lot more accomplished and in a much less harsh (brutal, severe) atmosphere by j-u-s-t  b-e-i-n-g  h-a-p-p-y.

Most people have always thought that if we work hard, we’ll be more successful, and if we’re more successful, then we’ll be happier.  Well that just may not be the case at all.

Happiness Fuels Success

That’s where Shawn Achor comes in.  In his book, The Happiness Advantage, he refers to “rigorous research in psychology and neuroscience, management studies, and the bottom lines of organizations around the globe” when he says that “happiness fuels success, not the other way around”.

Happiness is contagious, just as a bad attitude is.  Try it.  Walk into a room of your peers or staff with a big smile and just be basically courteous.  With few exceptions, very soon everyone will have a smile.

Just as your bad attitude affects the people you work with, so will a good attitude.  And as an added bonus, it could very well bring you more success.

For those of you who don’t think there’s anything to this notion of happiness then ask yourself why Shawn Achor’s TED Talk has had almost 2.5 million views.

“Okay, so what if I’m happier at work?  What’s in it for me?”  I’m glad you asked.  Your trickle down happiness is going to directly affect your staff, which in turn will result in:

  • better quality of work
  • better customer service
  • conscious acts of kindness
  • teamwork
  • openness
  • innovation
  • cooperation
  • fewer sick days
  • higher motivation
  • achieving potential

Should I keep going?

Happiness & You

Abraham Lincoln once said this:

“People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

In other words, you direct the path of your own happiness.  And along the way you can share in that happiness with just being, well, happy.

I’m not talking Happy like one of the Seven Dwarfs – just have a good attitude – about your job, about your staff, about your peers, about your bosses, about your friends and family.

Like I have said many times in my training workshops – attitude breeds attitude.  So if you want your staff to have good attitudes, you’ve got to walk the talk.  You’ve got to have the “happiness advantage.”

What is your happiness level?  Are you projecting the right attitude onto your staff?  What would the workplace be like if your attitude was better?


Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today here
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Andy Uskavitch is Leadership Development at Florida Blood Services
He develops and facilitates Leadership, Motivation & Teambuilding Seminars
Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Blog |  (727) 568-5433

Image Sources:  fun-gallery.com

One response to “Hey Leaders: Who Killed the Bluebird of Happiness?

  1. Great post. I’d like to add my 2 cents: I agree 100% that we control our attitude (in reference to happy, etc). Unfortunately, one of the things we can’t control is the trustworthiness of our boss. Among many other things (compatible styles & work methods, availability of feedback & direction, and other key elements), once we lose that trust in the boss — otherwise happy or not — I belive that most people decide it’s time to leave, or at least to start looking in earnest.

    So while I think happy is definitely in the mix, I think that trust is an even more elemental component of staying or leaving.


Please Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.