Finding Happiness in Leadership

Passion … can’t be taught, can’t be inherited, can’t be faked (for very long) … but it is essential for effective leadership.

Dan Rockwell tells us why.

Leadership Freak

happy dog with stick

Passion to change things – to make a difference – eats away at you. Show me a leader who’s always content and I’ll show you a lousy leader.

Finding happiness as a leader means learning to navigate tensions between:

  • Dissatisfaction and satisfaction.
  • Discontentment and contentment.
  • Unhappiness and happiness.

Early in my career dissatisfaction and discontent dominated my personal landscape. I was constantly unhappy with progress, my performance, and the path we were on.

Finding your leadership happiness:

First, Kouzes and Posner said a mouthful when they said, “Leaders inspire shared vision.” Leadership happiness depends on “shared” vision. Without that, you’re sad and alone. The more people who share the vision the happier leaders become.

Second, know their way works too. People seldom do things the way you would. They’re too slow, too fast, too cautious, too detailed. The real question is, will their way get you there?

Leaders who engage…

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More Inspiration Around “Inspired People Produce Results”

Inspired 3“Passion can change your life! At work, your intense enthusiasm for a new venture will spread to others and make it seem possible. Instead of longing for the end of the day, you may start wishing that the day was longer.”

Can you imagine the difference in most workplaces if this were an accurate description of the daily workplace environment? 

I have been fortunate enough to work in several such places over the years.  I have been unfortunate enough to have worked in environments where this is neither the culture or the goal.  

Passionate is better …

“When passion is one of your leadership priorities, you will soon find yourself working with an inspired team.”

If you make passion important, passion will become important to those who follow you.

In his own words, here is a summary of Jeremy “Insights for Inspiration—and Results”, which is the first chapter of Inspired People Produce Results by Jeremy Kingsley:

Most workers do not feel passionate about their
jobs or inspired by their bosses. To inspire your
staff members, you must show them your passion.

To infuse passion, explain the story and vision
behind your project.

Give your team members opportunities to try and
discover new things. Help them find the best uses
of their talents.

Celebrate victories. Point out the progress your
people make.

Mix humility with passion to inspire loyalty.

Feeling even more inspired and passionate about leadership in the Heartland ….


Jeremy Kingsley, inspirational speaker, story-teller, and author, wants to help you inspire others. Pre-order your copy of  Inspired People Produce Results at, and receive three additional resources (at no charge) to help you inspire others and produce results.

Disclaimer:   Did NOT receive a copy of this book to review.  Spending my own hard-earned coin to help me grow in my ability to inspire others.

What About Passion …?

Passionate TangoNo, not the kind of passion that results in otherwise respectable people doing a tango …

Just an idle question as we slide slowly into what is shaping up to be a very cold night …

Is passion always personal?

In my world, the discussions often revolve around passion.  Since we are often talking about change for individuals, for groups, and even for society, we get excited about possibilities.  This comes out as what many call “passion”.  

When someone has passion, others respond positively to their emotion. Continue reading

Leading by Example Is Not As Easy As You’d Think …

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing.”

Albert Schweitzer  As quoted in Building Character: Strengthening the Heart of Good Leadership (2007) pg. 49

Easy for Schweitzer to state this articulate thought about the absolute importance of authenticity.  He almost qualifies as a saint among men.  What about us mere mortals?

Most of us do not have the opportunity to create a living legacy as Schweitzer did with his medical work in Sub-Saharan Africa.  However, we do have our opportunities and our examples to follow in our more mundane lives:

 Think those who volunteer for Habitat Humanity or deliver meals to those in need.

Think those who act instead of just making speeches.

Think those who have the courage to speak their real mind in a meeting.

Think those who want to say “no” and do so.

Think those who deliver what they promise and give a day’s work for a day’s pay.

Think those who live lives of congruence and honesty.

Well, if being authentic were that easy, everyone would do it, right?:)

So what stops you … really?    Fear of failure, of consequences, of reactions, of people disagreeing with or even disliking you?

What do you think Schweitzer would say to you, if he were here?

Oh, he’s already said it, hasn’t he:).

Trying to set a good example in the Heartland …



Musing About Muses …









Clio, Euterpe et Thalie by Eustache Le Sueur

The Ancients often talked of  spiritual beings in human form who provided them with inspiration, energy, and creative ideas.  They called them “Muses” and each of the arts had a specific muse.  In the above painting, we see three Greek muses:  Clio for history, Euterpe for song and poetry, and Thalia for comedy.

As times have changed, the term “muse” took on a more personal meaning.  No longer mythical gods, our more modern muses are real people, but with a special “something”.

Our mortal, yet mystical muses  give the psychic “oomph” for creative art to occur.

A muse shares some aspects of coaching, mentoring, facilitating, and teaching, but in my mind, the muse is subtly different … less of a formal relationship, more emotional and psychological.  

A muse is not a wizard or a teacher, but a fountain of energy from which one can drink again and again.

In recent times, this term has fallen out of use.  “The Muse” was a clever, but not terribly well-received film with Albert Brooks and Sharon Stone as a writer and his modern muse, along with sterling support from Andie McDowell, Jeff Bridges, and Cybil Shepherd (as herself).    Released in 1999, this is the only relatively recent example of the use of a muse I can think of without doing a Google search.

Maybe Google is our new muse for all occasions:) 

We often use the term “inspirational” to describe personal leadership and as an essential characteristic of leadership in general.  We want someone or something to inspire us, to influence us to be our best selves, to create great things.

Michael Bungay Stanier uses the phrase Do Great Workto describe his personal mission to instill this attitude of high goals and excellent output.  Great work might be considered the end focus of all our efforts.

So some questions for you this cold, but clear January weekend morning:

Who is your muse?

How do you use your muse intentionally to create great work?  

How do you become someone else’s muse?  

How does having and being a muse affect you?

Musing on all this talk about muses and planning a phone call to a “friend” real soon in the Heartland ….