Adding JOY to your leadership

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Values & Joyful Leadership

John C. Maxwell said: leadership is about influence, nothing more, nothing less. This can hardly be closer to the truth. The question is why do you want to influence others. It’s naive to think that only good people will have the power of influence, unfortunately history says otherwise. Remember that we can only give what we have. That’s why our values, our integrity and our ethics are so important. 
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If you want to live a life of success, then you have to find your purpose. If you don’t have a purpose, something that drives you or inspires you, then you don’t have a reason to improve yourself. If you don’t improve yourself, then how can you show others the way? If you don’t know why you exist, if you don’t know your goal, your reason to get up in the morning how will you lead others… It’s important to know that your values set the foundation for your inspiration. I don’t want to get into that here, you can read that there, but what I want to tell you is that you have to have a purpose of life based on your values, because that will push you through your limits, that will drive you to do whatever is needed no matter what. Since you’re a leader that means that your society is counting on you, your team is counting on you, your family is counting on you, you are counting on you. So you just cannot live a life without purpose and without developing your core values, the values that will be your companion throughout your life.

Value /’valju:/ noun – principles or standards of behaviour: one’s judgment of what is important in life.

A leader inuences others with his values. We can give only what we have and we can expect the same in return. Thus developing good values is essential for good leadership.

Now we will highlight the two foundamental values of Joyful Leadership and two core emotions that work against practicing those values. Develop the former and avoid the latter to become a Joyful Leader.

1. Service attitude

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Service to others assumes a servant and a served. A Joyful Leader serves people in two ways: (1) he cares for the people he is leading. This means that he is sensitive to and understands people’s needs and problems and can address them properly. (2) He engages everyone according to their propensities. How long can one do his job efciently if it is not according to one’s nature? Thus an expert Joyful Leader understands his followers and inspires them based on their nature.

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2. Humility

Working in teams and empowering others is essential for every leader. Humility is the way to master these two skills. Leaders who are more concerned with the well-being of the team do not think that they are better than their subordinates and can empower them. These leaders are proved to be more effective and more successful. Their team is more loyal, more productive and this creates a culture that reflects the leader’s values. Emotions incompatible with Joyful Leadership that can harm the two fundamental values if overused or not used properly.

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3. Anger

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How much can one control himself when he is angry? How can one think with a cool head when he is angry ― not to speak of proper discrimination or nding alternative solutions. Anger shows the struggle for gaining power, attention and to be accepted as the boss. Anger undermines the leader’s ability to assess the situation, to use proper arguments and the ability to discriminate. It destroys the service attitude and humility as well.

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4. Pride

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Pride weakens one’s proper understanding of oneself and one’s position. Clear understanding and clear vision is crucial for a leader. This also means that one is capable of observing oneself and his environment objectively and in relation to others. By the influence of pride one loses the ability for objectivity and for understanding oneself. Pride also destroys humility and service attitude and thus the ability to work in teams and empower others, what to speak of attentive listening and learning.

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In the end here are 3 exercises that will help you to develop the right values for your own personal purpose:

1) Write down your purpose… and take it with you everywhere.
2) Write down all your values that support your purpose and write down those that are destroying it.
3) Sit down every evening and read your purpose, then go through the values the good and the bad too and see how did you perform today. What can you improve, what can you change, what should you continue.

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  1. Zoltan Hosszu, Joyful Leadership Manual
  2. Oxford Living Dictionary (2019). Oxford University Press. Retrieved from URL


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