Blog

Become high performing. By being happy.  

18 Sep, 2014

The summer holidays are over. Fall is coming. Like the start of every new year, a good moment for new inspiration.
Recently, I went twice to the Boston area for a client of Xebia. I met there (I dislike the word “assessments”..) a number of experienced Scrum teams. They had an excellent understanding of Scrum, but were not able to convert this to an excellent performance. Actually, there were somewhat frustrated and their performance was slightly going down.
So, they were great teams, great team members, their agile processes were running smoothly, but still not a single winning team. Which left in my opinion only one option: a lack of Spirit.   Spirit is the fertilizer of Scrum and actually every framework, methodology and innovation.  But how to boost the spirit?

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 10.43.43 PM Until a few years ago, I would “just” organize teambuilding sessions to boost this, parallel with fixing/escalating the root causes. Nobel, but far from effective.   It’s much more about mindset en happiness and taking your own responsibility there.   Let’s explain this a little bit more here.
This are definitely awkward times. Terrible wars and epidemics where we can’t turn our back from anymore, an economic system which hardly survives, a more and more accelerating and a highly demanding society. In all which we have to find “time” for our friends, family, yourself and job or study. The last ones are essential to regain balance in a more and more depressing world. But how?
One of the most important building blocks of the agile mindset and life is happiness. Happiness is the fuel of acceleration and success. But what is happiness? Happiness is the ultimate moment you’re not thinking, but enjoying the moment and forget the world around you. For example, craftmanship will do this with you. Losing track of time while exercising the craft you love.
But too often we prevent our selves from being happy. Why should I be happy in this crazy world?   With this mentality you’re kept hostage by your worrying mind and ignore the ultimate state you were born: pure, happy ready to explore the world (and make mistakes!). It’s not a bad thing to be egocentric sometimes and switch off your dominant mind now and then. Every human being has the state of mind and ability to do this. But too rarely we do.
On the other hand, it’s also not a bad thing to be angry, frightened or sad sometimes. These emotions will help enjoying your moments of happiness more. But often your mind will resist these emotions. They are perceived as a sign of weakness or as a negative thing you should avoid. A wrong assumption. The harder you’re trying to resist these emotions, the longer they will stay in your system and prevent you from being happy.
Being aware of these mechanisms I’ve explained above, you’ll be happier, more productive and better company for your family, friends and colleagues. Parties will not be a forced way trying to create happiness anymore, but a celebration of personal responsibility, success and happiness.
guest
5 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Vivek Anand
Vivek Anand
7 years ago

Agreed to the write-up.
If you are happy, you will be take interest in creating a happy-go-lucky environment. People feel easy to share their thoughts with you and gel well.
Key is “Be Happy Today and Always Remain So…!” 🙂

Peter Veentjer
Peter Veentjer
7 years ago

Although it is noble to try to make everyone in the team happy, I don’t think that a customer with a team in problems is going to be very happy to hear such vague fixes. I think most customers want to have a lot more concrete solution.

Vincenzo
Vincenzo
7 years ago

Thanks for the post. Sharing right now with the team 😉

Lodewijk Bogaards
Lodewijk Bogaards
7 years ago

Happiness is not only an important factor in terms of productivity, but obviously is an important factor in general. Having studies Buddhism a bit, which basically revolves around the attainment of true happiness, I have been amazed at times how often happiness is overlooked, especially in business, as well as how little we know about what it actually entails to be or become truly happy. In my opinion the point you make can not be stressed enough, for there still is a serious lack of awareness around it.
A question I would like to pose is: what do we value more: success or happiness? And how do we strike a healthy balance?

Explore related posts