Will Salyards
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Will Salyards, PhD Blog

Life, Career, Leadership

Corporate Celebration

While celebration within our organizations doesn't mean we're responsible for everyone's happiness, still, happiness is core to the idea - we don't celebrate very well when we're sad. If happiness in the workplace - or in the volunteer organization, the serving place - is key to celebration, how is it attained?

To begin with, happiness can be thought of as whether we're satisfied or fulfilled. In the first is satisfaction with life and is to the degree that we perceive our relationships, health, work, and leisure as more pleasant than unpleasant. Essentially, it's a subjective way of looking at the world and places our contentment at its center. Infants realize this form of happiness when dry, fed, and in their mother's arms.

In the second is a sense of fulfillment and involves our doing what is right, virtuous, and that enables personal or spiritual growth. Because you cannot answer everyone's subjective claims and so make them happy, waiting to celebrate until they are is to hold hostage the goodness in your group. It's better to find the enduring reasons for our fulfillment.

In line with this thought is that of Rabbi Schachtel who said that, "happiness isn't having what you want, but wanting what you have." Perhaps, then, the greater job of leadership in corporate celebration is our enabling people to value what fulfills them instead of merely what contents them. Ryff and Singer provided a structure for achieving this in the following four steps:

1. Pursuing personal growth, relationships, community, and health, rather than wealth, fame, image, and power.

2. Behaving purposefully and with mutual consent toward the group rather than in ways  that emphasize individual contentment.

3. Being mindful and acting with a sense of awareness.

4. Behaving in ways that create competence, relatedness, and autonomy.

For people to see an initiative as necessary and not just the latest fad it must relate to needs. If it directs us away from the damaging actions of others and ourselves then that is a bonus. The chart below combines the steps above with the thought of other scholars to show how our creating a climate of celebration could look.

Would you like to lead people to value what fulfills them instead of merely what contents them? Coaching may be helpful to reach your goal. Let's talk - it's free.