Joyful Leadership in Practice

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Four steps leaders can take to become positive mentors and enact a happy and productive school culture.

Research shows that our happiness as human beings leads to greater success and higher achievement (Lyumbomirsky, King, & Diner, 2005). When school leaders understand that fact and embrace it, their schools often exude positive energy. They are the kinds of schools where bold artwork lines the hallways. Where students browse the library books that are current Caldecott Award contenders, trying to decide for which picture book they should cast their vote. Where teachers know the value of making mistakes and learning from them. Where, just maybe, on a Friday morning, you might hear the guidance counselor over the loudspeaker encourage everyone—even the family members who've come to volunteer—to have a quick dance party to Pharell Williams's "Happy."