Inspiration and lessons for your leadership journey!
“New research into happiness, though, demonstrates that it can be lastingly increased.”
Our opening quote was written in Marty’s bestselling book, Authentic Happiness, in 2002 and yet in that same year, researchers from Emory University reported:
But why should any leader care about whether their team members (students, coworkers, etc.) are languishing or flourishing?
What the statistics tell us is that, on average, if you have ten team members or students in your classroom, three of them are languishing and suffering and only two of them are fully flourishing and doing well. That leaves the other five team members or students to fall somewhere in between the two poles and they are only moderately mentally healthy.
It will be difficult and unlikely any of us can build a high-performing team with 80% of team members functioning at less than full mental health or flourishing.
In addition to the suffering and impaired social functioning, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality cites a cost of nearly $60 billion in 2006 for mental healthcare in the US – equivalent to the cost of cancer care. But unlike cancer, much of the economic burden of mental illness is not the cost of care, but the loss of income due to absenteeism, decreased productivity, unemployment, expenses for social supports, and a range of indirect costs due to a chronic disability that usually begins early in life.
So, what can you do? Like Marty says, happiness and flourishing can be lastingly increased. As leaders from many paths, it is our responsibility to care for our team members and help them in any way that we can.
There are many ways outlined in Marty’s book or in my latest book, A Travel Guide to Leadership. Those of you who read this blog are probably aware of many of the big ones such as, nurturing gratitude, forgiveness, dealing with ANTs (automatic negative thoughts), living in the present moment (as opposed to a negative past or future orientation), practicing mindfulness, prayer, or meditation, and; performing acts of love and kindness.
In addition, the most seriously suffering should seek professional mental healthcare and as leaders we can support and encourage that in a myriad of ways.
As you go about your work with your team this week, ask yourself, “Are each of my team members languishing or flourishing?”
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Together we can spread words of Encouragement, Inspiration, Empowerment, and Loving Leadership!
Together we can make a difference!
Thank you and…
Have an amazing journey today!
Alan Mikolaj is a a professional, experienced, positive, and passionate speaker, leadership and organizational development consultant, change agent, author, and coach. He holds his Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from Sam Houston State University. He is a certified graduate coach from Coaching Out of the Box and holds his ACC and membership with the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
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In his third book, A Travel Guide to Leadership, Alan offers you simple, fundamental, and powerful lessons that have the power to transform you, your relationships, and your career.