Success doesn’t lead to happiness, but being happy improves performance

Ted shawn“If I work harder, then I’ll be successful. When I’m successful, then I’ll be happy.”

This formula for happiness is broken and backwards according to Shawn Achor, the winner of over a dozen distinguished teaching awards at Harvard University.

Check out his excellent 12 minute TED-talk.

How we feel significantly affects performance

Shawn argues we’ll never be happy if we have to achieve success first.

He also believes, and cites research, that being happy significantly improves performance.

“A happy brain outperforms a stressed or neutral brain, for example in areas such as productivity, creativity and general energy levels.” (I’m paraphrasing here).

I think Shawn is onto something important.

One of the key things I’ve learnt when advising leaders is that emotions matter.

When people feel good they do more good. When people feel bad they do less good.

Leaders who, all other things being equal, can help people feel happy at work achieve superior performance from their teams compared to leaders who “don’t care about emotion”.

I’m sure Shawn would agree.

Check out Shawn’s 12 minute TED-talk. It’s something to look forward to but beware; this guy is a fast talker!

Bjarte ;)

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