Years and years ago, I became attracted to the notion of “well-being” and embarked on a lifelong study of the topic. Since then it is difficult for me to not dig into any article or book that passes my eyes on the subject or related topics like “happiness”.
Candidly, I am sure I have bored more than a few friends, family members, clients, prospects, partners, and even passing acquaintances with my thoughts on the subject. I tend to go there not only because I find that most people are also intrigued by the topic, but because I see it as the single most defining principle of what I do.
So what is “well-being”? How do we achieve it? And how does it relate to how I help senior leadership teams turn good businesses into great ones?
There are many definitions, but generally speaking, well-being is defined as, “the state of being comfortable, healthy, and happy”.
According to Martin Seligman, one of the leading authorities on the subject, well-being is typically obtained when we possess the following:
- a positive attitude;
- engagement in activities that leverage our strengths;
- relationships that are supportive, nurturing, and enduring;
- meaningful work; and
Being one who has come to embrace “short and sweet” whenever possible, I am drawn to the simplest definition of well-being I have ever heard: Someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to.
So what does “someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to” have to do with building great companies?
Quite simply, it’s just a different set of words for framing the three abilities we believe companies need to master if they want to build great and enduring businesses: Vision, Traction, and Healthy (VTH).
- Vision: getting everyone in their organization on the same page with regard to what the business is, where it’s going, and how it’s going to get there (something to look forward to);
- Traction: creating a culture of discipline and accountability so everyone knows who does what and can count on one another to fulfill their role (something to do); and
- Healthy: creating an environment where everyone genuinely enjoys working together (someone to love).
It’s really that simple. VTH is the key to organizational well-being, and organizational well-being is the foundation for long term success.
Make sense? I hope so.
Until next time, may you build with passion and confidence.