As a business-performance coach, I study any group that is performing at an elite level.
Recently I was studying the Royal Marines, Britain’s elite commando force.
And I was really surprised by something I learned.
The Royal Marines have a list of 4 qualities they aim to develop in each of their soldiers.
The first 3 are kind of what you’d expect:
Courage, Determination and Unselfishness.
But the fourth is pretty unusual:
Are they serious? But the more I thought about it the more it made sense.
When you are doing really difficult, stressful and dangerous things, if you can maintain an attitude of cheerfulness it could make a huge difference.
Firstly to you- having a cheerful attitude makes any adversity easier to handle.
And secondly, to everyone around you- your cheerfulness could really help others feel encouraged and upbeat, and therefore more likely to persist and do a better job.
Soon after I read this about the Royal Marines I happened to be in an Uber with a driver who used to be one.
I asked him about it and he confirmed that the Royal Marines are indeed very serious about cheerfulness.
And it made me think that cheerfulness is something we, as business leaders, should be aiming to be as well.
If we focused on being cheerful, we would not only perform better, we’d also enjoy our working life a lot more as well.
And so would the people around us.