We all think we would be happy if we were a success. But happiness
is far less dependent on objective measures of success than success
is dependent on happiness. A positive approach precedes a positive
“A LAW FIRM can be a pretty high-stress place,” Mike admits. The cofounder
of a midsize Indianapolis fi rm, Mike, together with his partners,
committed to a different vision of a law fi rm from day one.
“We thought you could build a law fi rm based on the belief that
everyone should still have a life,” Mike says. No one is expected to make
a habit of working late nights or on weekends. Everyone is expected to
take the occasional afternoon off to see their child’s class play or Little
League game. The rules apply equally to the most senior partner and the
most junior offi ce assistant.
“You start talking about these things, and some people think this
is a fi rm for slackers,” Mike says. “But we’re talking about facilitating
excellence, not impeding it. We’ve found that a human approach makes
our staff happier, which makes their efforts more sustainable. The great
secret here is that we actually expect more of our people, and we get it.
Because even though you can get people to work hard under threat and
toil, you’ll never get them to work their best that way.”
Researchers have found that happy individuals are 73 percent more likely
to go on to experience positive outcomes in both their career and their personal
life. (Lyubomirsky, King, and Diener 2005)