Thursday, April 24, 2008

An Argument for Joyful Leadership

Erika Andersen, over at The Simplest Thing that Works, had a truly wonderful post on Joyful Leadership. As she sat at her computer and googled the words "joyful leadership," nothing came up!! Why, is the question she asks? Do leaders not find joy in their leadership? It really is a perplexing question, especially after all the examples Erika shows us as what joyful leadership is all about. I'll give you two here below, but you'll have to check out her site for the rest!

  • When you're the leader, and your team rallies around a common goal to achieve something that's beyond their individual capabilities: that's joyful.
  • When you invite and challenge someone who works for you to step up into a more demanding role, and he or she does it and succeeds: that's joyful.

The other thing I really enjoyed about her post, was that she recognizes there are times when leadership is stressful, frustrating, even demoralizing. But, there is still joy in it!

You really should be reading Erika's blog! She has great insight into leadership and managing others! Go take a look...and leave a comment for her while you're there!


Andrew B. Clark said...

Hi Eric -

Joyful Leadership - it does sound a bit like an oxymoron, but as pointed out, if you show joy in your duities as a leader, others will be more interested in following. If you show that its a joy to lead, others will accept that you have “bought in to” the direction and the path will lead to better things.

I saw a video this morning over at Dean Hunt’s Street Lessons that shows this in a slightly different scenario... (

Now I’m off to read Ericka’s post.

Keep Cooking!

Erika said...

Mi Tocayo -

So sorry - I just found your post about my post. ;-) Thank you so much: I love that you enjoy my blog...
as I enjoy yours!


Troy Worman said...

It's been more than a month since your last post. What gives?

On joyful leadership, I haven't read Erika's post, yet, but intend to do so. For now, I'll say this. Joyful leadership must start with joyful living, which essentially equates to positive thinking, or more specifically, perhaps, optimistic enthusiasm.

Now, I have seen something of this written of leaders, that they should be optimistic and enthusiastic. Otherwise, engaging the others would be rather difficult.

But there is something else to joy, isn't there? There is something more than optimism and enthusiasm, because these two can be contrived and joy, I think, cannot.

Eric Peterson said...

Andrew - Buy in from a leader is huge! It's also contagious. If you truly believe in what you are doing, others will buy in too.
BTW, that was a good video. Thanks for sharing

Erika - I'm sorry too! It's taken way too long for a response! Thanks for your support and inspiration.

Troy - Great point! I think there is something else to joy (true joy that is). I like your point on optimism and enthusiasm being contrived. That is so true. I've been guilty of that myself!

Regarding my long break - Life happened. That's really all I can offer. I had some health issues crop up over the last few weeks that really seemed to "consume" me. Good news is that most all of those issues have been put to rest (just one more to resolve)!
Also, I think the Iowa spring weather (especially after a long and gruelilng winter) has really had a part to play in my absence. I've been spending a lot more time with my 2 girls playing outside daily! It's really been a joy for me. I'm hoping to get back into the swing of "blogging" soon!

Thanks for checking up on me, Troy! I've always appreciated that from you!