A Note on Premise #4

| November 23, 2015
Leadership / Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Premise #4 states the following: leadership is commonly associated with heroism, and heroism with struggle. Instead, it should be associated with self-expansion and good and good-feeling stress (what Hans Selye calls “eu-stress”). These elements align leadership with bliss: bliss enters when we allow ourselves to be dynamic works in process.

Premise #4 opens up a whole new discourse on leadership, because it invites us to focus less directly on what may be good for the institution or enterprise or public that the leader serves, and more directly on the existential life of the leader him- or herself. How can leadership provide the inner experience of happiness, fun, fulfillment, and joy? Or better, how can the leader provide himself with the experience of happiness, fun, fulfillment, and joy? Too many of us sacrifice self-fulfillment for our work. Even the word work generally has negative connotations, i.e., something I have to do for money, but don’t want to do much of the time.

We will have much more to say about how a leader might cultivate a good-feeling mindset, but for now we want to propose that she pauses at various points throughout the day, and ask herself, “what is my happiness level right now” and that she then do something to raise her happiness level to a higher state. It’s fascinating to us that, despite the fact that people ultimately want only to be happy, they almost never stop to deliberately ask themselves how they’re doing in this regard! We propose that the primary indicator of success in life ought to be feeling good.

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