October 2014 - Happiness

There is no doubt that the happiest people we meet have a Bull's Eye for their business that is in alignment with the Bull's Eye for their personal life.

We work with someone who inherited the family business from her parents who started trading forty years ago. Although she does not have a back ground in engineering she has always been able to do bits of the MD role without any undue exertion. It's the strength of the senior management team that actually carries her through. On the Directors Forum it emerged that she works about 25 hours between Monday and Friday; her apathy and listlessness suggested that she doesn't do much with the remaining 143 hours either. At the other end of the scale, Will is driving the business forward relentlessly. He is in the building trade and whatever his father achieved before him is simply not enough. He regularly works weekends and evenings; he is always looking for merger and acquisition opportunities. He regrets that he rarely sees his three small daughters and his wife regrets it even more intensely. He tells me that he just can't do holidays at all unless he has his technology by his side.

Two lives, two extremes. Maybe most of us are somewhere in between, but for those who don't get it, try reading Happiness by Design (Paul Dolan). It is subtitled Finding pleasure and purpose in everyday life and that is the key.