Happy or Content – Asked The President

At the time I was paying more attention to the grilled plaice just placed in front of me to have heard the start of the conversation, but I then clearly heard the voice of my client’s President “Let’s ask the Value Innovator what he thinks.”

My food musings had distracted me from a conversation being held 5 or 6 seats away about the difference between staff being content and staff being happy, and now all eyes were fixed on me.

Both are emotions I offered, and one is very steady and the other comes in waves (grilled plaice is best eaten hot). “Ah perhaps you’ll share more in your next Value Innovator blog if you do requests” (now I stopped taking requests when I stopped DJ’ing at Uni but why let an explanation get in the way of a hot plaice). “Let’s eat!”

As we passed in the hotel reception the following morning on my way from breakfast, I was pleased to inform the President I’d accepted his request and had already nailed the first fifty words and chosen the image.

These are certainly emotional times, and our pandemic associated emotions seem to be playing havoc with so many lives, business plans, relationships and teams, and business is about people is it not; and people are emotional beings.

We don’t want robots, but nor do we want a workplace dominated by emotions, they can be distracting, destabilising, and damaging both professionally and personally. Every team needs a balanced mix of emotion, with dominant emotions coming to the fore in required situations, for a business to thrive. For example, new product development is better served with passion than contentment, based on the Cambridge English Dictionary definitions below:

  • Content – pleased with your situation, and not hoping for change or improvement.
  • Happy – feeling, showing, or causing pleasure or satisfaction.
  • Passion – something that you are strongly interested in and enjoy.

As a business leader you’d be happy leading your employees from contentment to passion – wouldn’t you?

This transition starts as it does in every good company at the top (Cliché Warning) “You and your leadership team need to become the change you want to see”, and that means creating the right culture and environment for your people to become passionate about the company they work for – they need meaningful not meaningless work, a shared sense of purpose and a role they enjoy day in day out.

I know from my career I’ve been happiest when working with likeminded, passionate, people.

Since 2013 I have been helping ambitious SMEs with their Strategic and Leadership challenges.

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Posted in Engagement, leadership, People performance, Principles, Purpose, Values
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