Working in the leadership development industry I spend a fair amount of time reading about leadership. Sometimes it seems like leadership is this complicated blend of habits, mindsets, and processes that I at least couldn’t hope to keep all in my head at once. But the truth of the matter is that leadership can be pretty simple. I’m going to share one way you can be a leader that is so simple that you already do it and hardly ever think about it.
Smile. Here are 3 reasons why you should.
- You’re reading this. That means that you woke up this morning. You’re breathing, thinking, moving. You are alive for one more day. That means that you have a tremendous opportunity to make an impact, to be a game-changer. You can grow yourself and lift others up. You can make this day great. As musician Frank Turner says, “We can get better, because we’re not dead yet!”
- Smiling will make you feel better. Numerous studies have been done on the physiological and psychological effects of smiling. The conclusions are astounding in the scope of effect that smiling has. For one, smiling lowers stress. It releases endorphins which induce feelings of happiness and satisfaction. Heck, smiling has even been correlated with a stronger immune system. Point is, smiling makes you better.
- Smiling positively affects your environment. We’ve all heard the phrase that smiling is contagious. More than that though smiling makes you more approachable, makes people around you more comfortable, and even tends to make you seem trustworthy. These are all great things to have in a work or home environment. The University of Montpellier even did a study of smiling as a leadership technique and found it to be quite effective.
So whatever is on the docket today, make sure to smile early and often. Smiling has too many benefits to pass up. And in case you need some help to get started, here is one of my favorite comics of all time from Bill Watterson.