Episode recap: Joyful Leadership with Debby Schlesinger-Hellman

In the third instalment of our Special Episodes -series, we are joined by Andrew’s business partner, Debby Schlesinger-Hellman, to discuss the topic of joy and leadership in business. Debby has a background in coaching, mentoring and building teams, and she is currently interested in bringing her knowledge along with the new learnings to advance more joy to both individuals as well as to teams in business. During Debbie’s time developing leaders, she has found that people are searching for more belonging and a sense of purpose in their everyday life, including the workplace. And with this knowledge, Debbie is passionate about helping others find a path to that more joy-filled life, looking to have a positive impact on many.

Passion for teaching about the power of joy

Debby’s relationship with joy has been an ongoing journey for about 15 to 20 years. She is a very joyful and happy person, but around 10 years ago she noticed that staying joyful takes work and a conscious effort. She started reading up on joy and incorporating it into her life, and eventually her learnings started to take effect on her family and workplace as well. Today she’s passionate about spreading joy and helping others who are struggling with joy, as well as making the world a better place.

“I think there’s so much to be said for the power of joy.”

Debby emphasizes that joy is a discipline, a muscle that we have to build – not just a superficial, fleeting moment. She is passionate about teaching more people about the power of joy and encouraging and empowering them to search for joy in their lives, and believes that by doing that, the world will be in a much better way.

More room for joy in business

Debby and Andrew talk about the McKinsey report, in which they discuss the great attrition. 51% of people that left their jobs did so because they didn’t feel a sense of belonging, or being valued at their place of work. More than 60% of people were also willing to leave their job without another job lined up, and offering more money wasn’t going to keep the employees. Debby highlights the responsibility of managers to make the people of the company the top priority. If employees aren’t being heard, cared for and they don’t feel belonging, they are already one foot out the door.

Leaders incorporating the joy principles into their leading, and helping employees with their sense of belonging, purpose and wellbeing, is an important aspect of fighting the great attrition and will provide people with a fulfilling experience that makes them want to come to work. Research also shows that if the people at a company feel inspired, empowered and cared for, they will encourage everyone else in the team to do the same. This effect will also positively affect business results.

“A significant proportion of your problems will go away as a business leader, if you can create a joyful environment for your people.”

Educate, inspire and empower as a leader

Now, how are leaders able to bring in more joy into their organisations? Debby says it’s all about educating, sharing, inspiring and then empowering. The materials and tools that her and Andrew have developed over the years help you and your team to build the joy discipline within themselves, and the outcomes have been great. Research shows that the most successful businesses have leaders who are genuinely interested in their people. Incorporating these learnings positively correlates with the success of the business – everybody wins.

To find out more about Debby’s work, please visit her LinkedIn here. If you want to listen to the full podcast episode, you can find it here or on your preferred podcast platform by searching The Art and Science of Joy. Remember to subscribe to the podcast for more episodes on Joy Superpowers, and inspiration for you to start living a more joyful life!

Further reading