Improving Ourselves to Replace Drama with Joy at Work

“Leadership is a journey.” You’ve heard this a million times in a million different ways, but it’s true. And it’s not always an easy journey sitting in first class with a cocktail in hand – sometimes it’s walking uphill in the snow barefoot. No matter the difficulty, you owe it to yourself and to those you lead to make ongoing progress.

That’s why in February at PeopleForward Network, we celebrate the idea of “improving ourselves.” Improvement can be personal or professional, and ultimately it affects both.

If you’re not already tracking toward self-improvement goals, this is our bread & butter so we have tons of insights and resources to recommend!

Create Alignment and Integration

In “Ten Tips to Keep Work From Taking Over Your Life” from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, there’s a notion that we should shift our thinking from one of work-life balance to one of work-life integration. Rather than keeping our work and personal lives on two separate teetering scales, those integral parts of who we are should be in alignment and blended to create synergies that fill our cup and feed one another.

The article notes, “the key is not prioritizing your schedule but scheduling your priorities.” We all have different priorities and assign different value to different people and pieces of our lives, so this intentional focus on integration and being present for what matters to us may be the key to achieving happiness (most of the time) across the board.

Strive for Joy-Centered Leadership

Over the course of our leadership journey, sometimes there are bumps in the road. These can be the best opportunities for learning, expanding our thinking, and appreciating the small wins and meaningful moments.

A recent episode of the Gut + Science podcast with host Nikki Lewallen Gregory (and our own CEO!) and show guest Karin Volo, CEO and Chief Joy Bringer at Evoloshen, takes you on a powerful of personal inner growth. Her lowest low sparked a passion for unearthing why people hate their jobs and how, as a leader, she could define key strategies for creating workplaces people love.

Loving work feels like a relatively new thing, when compared to the images your mind conjures of a couple generations ago when our grandparents toiled away at hard labor with no energy for joy or anything resembling it after they punched the clock. But considering how many waking hours we spend in front of our screen or at work events or in meetings, shouldn’t there be a splash of joy to make it all worthwhile?

On the surface, joy is a simple thing: a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. We should make it a priority to do at least something everything that will fill us up with that precious moment of joy.

Meaning and joy are vital to our well-being and can ultimately result in being able to flourish as people and leaders. Experiencing joy at work replenishes us mentally and physically, having concrete impact on our ability to give more during the workday, and that joyful energy we emit whether in-office or working remotely through a Zoom screen is contagious and will have a ripple effect on our team members.

Challenge Yourself to “Ditch the Drama”

One of our most-loved inspirational people-first leaders, Cy Wakeman, offers a tried-and-true 30-week leadership challenge that prescribes turnkey challenges, fosters learning and development, and cultivates mindset shifts for you and your teams.

Dubbed by Cy’s team as a “fan favorite,” this program includes weekly emails with bite-sized challenges and a variety of content that fuels a-ha moments and transformative change on a personal and organizational level.

One of the program participants claims, “I’m loving the conversations it encourages, the self-reflection it inspires, and the fact that I have a daily focus that will help this become second nature to me.”

➡️ Learn more about the Ditch the Drama Challenge.

👀 Explore more from Reality-Based Leadership.

We hope these nuggets for doing more to improve yourself in ways that minimize drama and create space for more joy prove valuable. We’d love to hear how it goes! If you want more people-first leadership fuel, be sure to subscribe to all of PeopleForward Network’s podcasts here, and subscribe to our newletter for goodies beyond the audio.

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