How to Be a Successful Leader: Embrace a Joyful Life

Posted on 05/19/16 by James Merritt


Human beings spend many of their waking hours seeking something to fill the emptiness in their souls. That something is joy, and if you can offer someone joy, you will be a winner and an influencer far beyond your wildest dreams.

If you are going to maximize your influence and leave a lasting impact on others, you must become contagious with joy. There are two practical ways to do this.

1. Create a joyful environment.

My wife loves to go to certain restaurants for what she calls the “atmosphere” or “ambience.” The surroundings, the service, and the sounds create for her a relaxed and romantic feeling that you won’t get at McDonald’s.

Leaders can create environments of joy so that others experience it and even catch it. It can be something as simple as walking around the office giving everyone a smile or a thumbs-up, or encouraging a mother and father to make sure fun is on the agenda every day in some way in the home.

2. Invest in others.

When you share your life with another person, you can give him or her a “joy transfusion” even when times are tough. We really do have the power and ability to help people see that life is good in so many ways, that it is always full of potential, and that we have reasons to smile, laugh, and even give thanks for the many positives that are with us daily.

Zig Ziglar has been a mentor and encourager to me. Many times he has called out of the blue with that bubbly joyful voice of his and breathed a joyful attitude into my life. Who will you become a mentor and encourager to? Choose to invest in others, and you’ll unlock the power of joy.

The greatest secret of personal joy—and perhaps the one principle that will practically guarantee it—is this: Give joy to others, and you will get it for yourself. Helen Keller once wrote in her journal, “Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes happiness [and joy]. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”

Leaders pull everyone else around them up when they are down. Not only do they see the glass half-full, but they invest energy in the lives of those around them so that they experience a joyful life as well.


Get more great advice on how to be a successful leader in 9 Keys to Successful Leadership.

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