24 Jun Defining characteristics of happy people?
I recently discovered this list of Paul Wong’s, Canadian Professor of Psychology, in which he outlines the following twelve defining characteristics of great leaders:
1. Great capacity for productive work — They seem to possess boundless energy and thrive under stress. They are able to work indefatigably for years on end in order to accomplish an important project. Their stamina and tenacity give them a decided advantage. They manage to work with great enthusiasm even when they cannot get into a state of “flow”. Their consistent productivity is based on their deeply ingrained habits of commitment and discipline.
2. Great vision for the right direction — They can see things clearer and farther than others. They have insight into just what is needed and the foresight to see what will succeed in the long run. They can feel the pulse of the world which they inhabit and anticipate the world which is not yet born. Time and time again, they prove that they have the right answer, even when conventional wisdom and tradition dictate otherwise. Their vision is neither a grand illusion, nor abstract ideal. Rather, it is a living document that inspires, unites and energizes others.
3. Great intellect and knowledge — They are intelligent, knowledgeable and competent not only in their specialty, but also in the general area of humanities, social sciences and business administration. They have a good grasp of complex issues and the ability to get to the crux of the matter. They have the genius of holding two opposing views and the wisdom to navigate cross-currents.
4. Great people skills — They work well with all kinds of people from different cultures, because they have a deep understanding of human nature and basic human needs that transcend cultures. They see both the bright and dark side of people, without losing faith in the human potential for positive change. They don”t judge others on the basis of beliefs, values or other cultural characteristics, because they respect the basic human dignity of all people. Understanding and flexibility characterize their leadership style. They know how to resolve conflicts and foster harmony. They know that different folks need different strokes, and they apply different management skills to handle different situations.
5. Great team-builders — They do not surround themselves with people who are subservient and loyal only to them, but select competent and creative people who are faithful to the same vision and mission. They welcome diverse opinions and value people who are smarter than they are in various areas of expertise. They know how to put together and manage an A-team to insure organizational success.
6. Great motivators – They create a supportive and meaningful work environment and make people feel that they matter to the organization. They generate intrinsic motivation by involving people in the excitement of doing something significant and purposeful. They capitalize on people’s strengths and know how to unleash these inner energies. They see the potential in every person and want to bring out the best in them. They empower workers to develop their potential to become great workers and leaders. They set challenging but realistic goals. By setting an example of excellence in everything they do, they make it the standard for all aspects of their operations.
7. Great heart -Their heart is big enough to embrace the entire organization and the whole world. They are neither partisan nor petty. They reach out to those who do not agree with them. They don’t mind to be proven wrong or outshined by others; their main concern is the common good. They don”t hold grudges; they are always ready to forgive and apologize. Their capacity for compassion is equal to their understanding.
8. Great communicators — They can articulate a vision and tell compelling stories to rally people around a common goal. They know how to inform as well as inspire. Above all, they are good listeners. They understand people’s needs and feelings by talking to them on a personal level. Their ability to resonate with others is based not so much on communication skills as on their deeply felt sense of connectedness with the organization and humanity.
9. Great optimists — They stay optimistic even when circumstances are bleak. Their optimism stems from personal faith more than anything else – faith that good will prevail over evil and persistence will eventual lead to success. They know how to inspire hope through difficult times, while battling their own inner doubts. Their proven capacity to endure and overcome inspires others to be optimistic about the unknown.
10. Great courage – They have the courage to confront their worst fears and risk everything in order to remain true to their own convictions and other people’s trust. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to persist and act in the presence of fear. They know how to live with the continued tension between despair and hope, doubts and confidence, fear and courage. They grow stronger as a result of this constant opposition.
11. Great self-knowledge – They know who they are and what they stand for. They know that their strengths contain the seeds of destruction (e.g., over-confidence). They also accept their own weaknesses and limitations as the essential conditions of being human. They are willing to accept negative feedback in order to improve themselves. They would not let their ego get in the way of doing what is good for the organization. Feeling comfortable in their own skins reduces their defensiveness. Their humility comes from their emotional maturity and self-knowledge.
12. Great character – Above all, they possess integrity and authenticity. They have the moral courage to stand up for their beliefs and do what is right, no matter how much it will cost them. To them, integrity is more important than success. Their leadership is principle-centered and purpose-driven, regardless of the pressure to make expedient. They are transparent and genuine; they say what they mean and they walk the talk. They accept responsibility for their choices and would not blame others for their own mistakes. They do not steal credits from others. One of their greatest assets is their “reputational capital”. Others can always bank on their trustworthiness, because they serve as symbols of morality and ethics.
My question to you is…could these characteristics apply just as much to those people who experience great happiness?!?!