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Success Maker?

Success Maker: Developing the Happy Manager

Do you want to be a success maker? Perhaps the first thing to consider is a couple of quotes. Firstly, Dale Carnegie’s:

“Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.”

Prioritising your personal development will contribute to a far healthier life than merely chasing money or status. What Tal Ben-Shahar calls the “ultimate currency” – happiness.

Investing in your own personal development is one way to be a success maker, but the best managers also think about the people they manage.

Hopefully this article will encourage you to do both. The sentiment in our second quote is worthy of a true success maker:

“Success in management is when those you manage succeed, and the organisation you work for succeeds.”

Personal Investment? You’re Worth It

Today most professionals will have careers spanning several organisations, possibly including some degree of self-employment. Treat your career as a series of opportunities to add to your portfolio of:

  • skills
  • qualifications
  • contacts
  • experience
  • understanding

Remember, whatever your situation, you’re always working for yourself. Make the most of any chances to add to this portfolio, increasing your professional value. If these opportunities are scarce, try to create them. Suggest development activities to your manager, naturally ensuring you stress the value to the organisation, as well as to yourself. Look at our goal setting activity for some tips on how to do this.

However, you should also ensure you live a balanced life. Being a success maker might be easier if you think carefully about what success really means. Our stress management tip included the idea of “enduring success”:

Two Harvard academics, Laura Nash and Howard Stevenson, talked to high achievers, interviewing successful professionals and surveying more than 100 executives attending Harvard management programmes. As a result they proposed an ideal of “enduring success”. They suggest this has four categories:

  1. Achievement – accomplishments;
  2. Happiness – feelings of pleasure or contentment about life;
  3. Significance – a positive impact on people you care about;
  4. Legacy – establishing your values or accomplishments in ways that help others find future success.

Nash and Stevenson suggest that “enduring success” is a journey of balancing work, family, self and community, and not being obsessed with “one big goal”. How do people achieve this? They do it by focusing on just enough.

“You don’t have to succeed at everything at once. Some things are enough for now; others can wait until later.”

But just enough isn’t simply about settling for mediocrity or second best.

“By just enough we don’t mean settling for the minimum. Just enough is actually a vehicle for actively making choices that get you more, not less, through achieving satisfactions on more dimensions in life.”

Developing The Happy Manager

For a happy manager, development is about much more than job specific needs. It does involve career development, but as part of a balanced life. The real priority is to ensure you spend time developing as a person. As we have already discussed on this site, authentic happiness comes from balancing pleasure, commitment and contribution.

Developing others around us is an ideal way to attain each of these elements of happiness. Good managers become success makers by also fostering growth around them. Developing our own careers is important but helping to build the careers of the people we manage completes a virtuous circle. It contributes to our happiness, their happiness, and to the success of our organisations. Hopefully then, you’ll also be thinking about bringing out the best in your colleagues. As Yahoo’s Tim Sanders once said:

“Business people who are the busiest, the happiest, and the most prosperous are the ones who are the most generous with their knowledge and their expertise. People who love what they’re doing, who love to learn new things, to meet new people, and to share what and whom they know with others: these are the people who wind up creating the new economic value and, as a result, moving their companies forward.”

 

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