“What makes you happy?” I asked a business leader today.
I love asking this question. In my experience there is nothing more rewarding and likely to lead to happiness than growing others.
The thing about growing others that you give what you have, so you don’t have to learn much (other than how to give), there’s always back up when you need it, and those you grow, well they grow and become happier. And so will you.
No-one openly disagrees with this scenario in my experience, but putting it into practice is not always that simple. Some functional managers jealously guard what they have learned, protecting their patch for the next promotion. Sometimes it’s even rewarded, reinforcing the behaviour.
Therein lies the dilemma. If I share I lose my personal competitive advantage. On function you might, and if that’s you then leadership might not be your gig (yet).
So what did my business leader say in response? “It sounds selfish you know, but I get so much happiness from giving to grow others”.
So be selfish, look after your own happiness and give. I don’t think anyone will criticise you for that sort of selfishness!