Well . . . yes. Let’s try to make a start by considering the rewards of leadership. In order are reasons that academic leadership can be said to be associated with bliss/”bliss”:
- The pleasure you get from serving others.
- The pleasure of being an influential part of the positive transformation the professional community and the lives of those it serves.
- The opportunity to develop creative solutions to important and difficult problems and challenges, exercising your capacity to be the leader-as-intellectual/artist rather than the leader-as-bureaucrat. (One academic administrator we once knew was so fully identified with bureaucracy alone that he was laughingly referred to as the “dean of small scribbles”).
- A sense of personal development. What is it in us that causes us to decide to take on bigger and bigger roles?
- Personal evolution. In the most obvious sense, growth occurs when we learn from our mistakes and hardships–when we look back upon a painful experience or failure and realize that we’re now better, or smarter, or stronger because of it. “Bliss,” as we’re conceiving it, is the capacity to gain wisdom and recover a sense of well-being closer and closer to the moment of hardship itself. This can stem from learning, through multiple experiences, that belabored angst(the “woe is me” response) feels terrible, and paralyzes the solution-oriented intellection and creativity that feel good.