“Does it spark joy?” has been ringing in my mind since I recently started watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix, and especially this week for #JoyAtUofT. When I think about the question in relation to leadership, unlike physical objects that may spark feelings, I think about how my actions and behaviours may spark joy for me. So when I think about everyday leadership, the everyday actions that can impact my life and someone else’s, here are some ways that I find joy:
Get by with a little help from my friends
When it comes to finding inspiration, I thought why not ask some my peers for help. And thankfully, I found Bushra and Emily to share some of their thoughts on joy and leadership with me.
What brings you joy when leading?
B: “when folks are able to reflect on their experiences that they’ve shared in any events that I’m leading!”
E: “seeing how actions or words can positively impact others. I love seeing how we can all learn from and grow with each other.”
How do you spread joy in your leadership?
B: “by going to socials/coffee dates with my teammates!”
How has a fellow peer brought joy to your life?
B: “by simply checking in on me, and helping with the workload when I feel overwhelmed but nervous to ask for help!”
What value does joy bring to leadership?
B: “it makes it worthwhile to be a leader in the community!”
Grounded in gratitude
Thinking about what I’m grateful for always brings a little more joy into my life, and it’s something I try to practice whenever I can. Like right now, I’m grateful for new music releases every Friday, an extra minute of sunlight everyday, and that I’m always learning something new about leadership.
Staying True-blue to my values
Integrity is something I always admire and appreciate in other leaders. When leaders are honest and hold themselves accountable for their actions and decisions. And it’s something that I hope to practice in my own leadership. I guess it’s not always joyful to be honest, but I think that staying true to my values will always bring more joy to my life than not.
I’ve been working on mindfulness since first year, and I hope I keep working on it for the rest of my life because I’m always learning new things from it (btw check out Zoë’s blog on mindfulness). One of the most important lessons I’ve learned so far is to acknowledge ALL feelings. Even when it’s uncomfortable and I’d rather chase it away with some overthinking, and overeating. But instead I’m learning to confront it, and get to know it better without trying to turn it into something else. And that includes joy. Confronting joy and embracing joy when it’s here, and not forcing joy to happen when it’s not. Perhaps leadership may not always spark joy, but I’ll always remember to enjoy it when it does.
How do you find joy in leadership?