Should It Matter If Your Team is Happy?

Linda Dulye's picture

CorkboardSmileySeasoned leaders understand that key decisions, large or small, are likely to make a large number of people unhappy. It goes with the territory, right? You can't please everyone.

But what about a leader's own team? Should the leader care if everyone is happy?

According to Linda Lausell Bryant, executive director of Inwood House, a New York-based organizations that focuses on teenagers' health issues, the answer is, "no."

Here's how she explained the idea in a recent interview:

"I went from being the charismatic leader, the leader everyone loves — "I love you, and you love me, and we're a big, happy family" — to being more comfortable with everyone not being happy. I'd like everyone to be happy, but I can take it if they're not. And I no longer feel like it's my job to make sure everyone is happy. My job is to fulfill the mission of this organization, and to make sure that all the pieces are in place so that we can do that."

What she says is true. As leaders we're hired to achieve the goals of our respective organizations. We accomplish this by motivating and developing our team members -- things within our control.

Making sure that every person on the team is happy is beyond our control. It's a challenge to come to this reality, rather, to accept this reality.

But as soon as a leader realizes that happiness is by and large in control of the employee, the easier it becomes to lead.

Not easy, of course, but easier.


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