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The Power of Joy: Why Leaders Must Embrace and Incorporate Joy into Their Lives

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

With all the rates of burn out and quiet quitting, we need to take another look at how joy is a solution to helping us engage and sustain our work life.

Several people sitting at laptops and smiling
Happy at work means you work better

Why does our mood matter for our work?

Happier people work better

In short, the news over the last couple of decades supports that happy people enjoy more career success.

to reenergized, we can think and work more effectively. Planning for joyful activities helps us to renew our energy for work.

What are some ways to incorporate joy?

Pump up the tunes

It may not always be appropriate to be blasting music, but there is a proven connection between music and mood. There isn't just one kind of music known to make you happier. It can vary from person to person. Find the music that makes you joyful and try playing it while you work. My favorites for work are as simple as asking Apple Music for 'music to focus by' or acoustic chill. I have also used the Calm app for music selections. After work hours, I like to turn up more dancing tunes. Louder volumes actually makes you happier!

Do things for other people

Research has found that when we do things to help others we boost both our mood and the mood of the other person. When we actively seek happiness, we are the least likely to find it, but acts of generosity are one of the most surefire ways to feel happy. This can be as simple as opening a door for someone or picking up something they dropped. We get our own boost of endorphins when we focus on others and know that we are doing good in the world.

Work at 85%

One Harvard Business Review article suggests that we will work better by managing our energy levels rather than our time for work. The reasoning is that time is finite but energy may be replenished. More recently, it was proposed that we work at 85% of our effort in order to manage our energy. I talk about this quite often, but working less actually gives us more energy for work and helps us maintain more positive feelings towards our work. As we work more and give our whole selves to work, we develop resentment and don't work as effectively. By cutting back on the energy we give to work, we will feel more joyful and work better and longer.

Get Active

Moving around also brings us joy. Download my free list of activities you can do to boost your mood.


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