Stability Of Emotion Engendered By The Consistent Pursuit Of Joy Over Happiness
Contentment is the fourth of the 5Cs, the F3 Leadership Characteristics.
It would be easy to confuse Contentment with satisfaction and reject it is a characteristic that is undesirable in a Leader. Obviously, one cannot follow a satisfied man who is happy where he is because he won’t be going anywhere. In fact, satisfaction is a dangerous thing in a Leader. In truth, there is no plateau of happy stasis where nothing is required from anyone who wishes to remain there. That’s a trick of the mind, like the fictive feeling of warmth that overcomes a man who is slowly freezing to death.
A Leader Is Content, But Never Satisfied
He continually pursues some Advantage for his Group. But there is a difference between a Leader who is Content and one who is not. The Content Leader draws Joy from the pursuit of Advantage and does not concern himself with whether the Outcome will make him Happy.
The Content Leader knows that Happiness is a transitory feeling that is governed by circumstance. A Leader who seeks Happiness will exhibit emotions that rise and fall with the Outcome of events, and will be a difficult man to trust and follow because he is inherently unstable.
Now, there is nothing wrong with Happiness. Any man would be be Happy if his Shorty brought home a good report card, and would not be nearly as Happy if his dog pooped in his den. But neither circumstance should affect his level of Joy, that should be a constant. Joy is not a product of daily circumstance, but derives from the assurance that one’s life is being well lived regardless what each day may bring. Happiness is a momentary thing, but Joy is eternal.
A Content Leader is a man whose Joy emanates from being a loving father, regardless of the grades his children get. What matters to him most is not where his dog may poop on a given day, but whether he has exercised proper stewardship over all the living things entrusted to his care. Joy is the product of a life’s work and it cannot be taken from a man by any force external or daily happenstance.
The Content Leader reflects this truth in his steady deportment. His followers trust him because they know he will not react impulsively to circumstances, whether they be good or bad.
A Leader can easily discern whether his followers believe him to be Contented. If they wait for something good to happen before they tell him some bad news, he is a discontented Leader, a man they do not fully trust to make unemotional decisions. But if they bring him the bad news as quickly as the good, that is a sign that he is trusted.
Which type of Leader would you be more likely to follow?
Which type of Leader do you want to be?