Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Pursuit

Every once in a while, I am reminded that one of the "unalienable rights" endowed to us by the Creator is not the right to be happy but to PURSUE happiness. This was certainly the message of the wonderful movie, "The Pursuit of Happyness" about Chris Gardner's struggles to realize his dreams. No one will give us success. But we all have the right to compete, to have goals, to endeavor to be our best.

This really is what leadership is about: setting the conditions for others to realize their dreams, to become all that they envision, to enable all team members to PURSUE happiness. How do we do this? Many ways's a start:

-- Maintain an environment that is free from bias and provides equal opportunity to all.

-- Ensure all members of the team have a developmental plan and that resources are provided to help achieve growth.

-- Provide a positive, supportive, energetic, fun work environment. Yep...I said it. It is okay to have fun, to pursue happiness at work!

-- Align resources against goals and objectives. Leaders must provide the skills and tools to enable others to pursue greatness.

-- Set the bar high. Be a dreamer yourself and give people something to shoot for -- a vision, a new level of greatness that they otherwise might not reach on their own. Don't let anyone on your team stop their PURSUIT.

-- Maintain a sense of balance -- in your personal and professional life. Understand that people pursuit happiness at home and at work. Provide opportunities for both.

-- Don't make excuses. We are responsible for our own pursuit. View obstacles as opportunities. Share this attitude with others. The pursuit IS contagious.

If you haven't seen this movie...get it. Be inspired. Then get back in the arena and start (or resume) your "PURSUIT!" Don't ever let someone tell you -- you can't do something. And don't be that someone to others. "You want something? Go get it. Period." That's the Pursuit. And that's...Leader Business.


Anonymous said...

-- Maintain an environment that is free from bias and provides equal opportunity to all.

isn't the first one already hardly seen in reality? how can one achieve the following?

Tom Magness said...

Thanks Anon.

Again, this is the leader's responsibility to create the conditions for others to pursuit happiness. That means to not show favoritism. Treat the lowest ranking person as you do the highest. Invest in the growth and development of every member of the team. Lead by example.

No team will be completely free of bias but...good leaders persevere to create the conditions where opportunity abounds and bias is quickly addressed.

Good luck! Thanks for your feedback.