As leaders take on more responsibility, handle more decisions, mentor and coach more people, and generate higher and higher level results, often something changes. Their face.

Have you ever walked down a hallway at work and realized that you’d better smile because your countenance influences how your team thinks about you and about themselves? You put on a happy face, grin and say hi, and as soon as you’ve passed the team member, you revert to “resting overwhelm face.” Lines in the forehead have appeared and are deepening.

What if such moments of self-reflection (and inauthenticity) were unnecessary because you genuinely are in a mood of happy ambition most of the time?

Here’s the great news! It’s not only possible, it’s under your control. Even under the stress of leadership, you can be in choice about your emotional state, and in fact, it’s your responsibility to set the mood for your team.

How do you choose happy?

Here are three tips to help you be a happier leader:

Notice your self in the midst of your work. Pay attention to your body, and regularly throughout the day, take a minute to notice from head to toes, if and where you may be holding on to stress or negativity. Release the tension and allow it to flow out of your body.

Happy Leader

Notice emotions as they come to you. Allow yourself to feel the emotion, and ride the wave to the end. Often emotions come because a situation reminds our subconscious of a similar situation where we didn’t have control over the outcome. Ask yourself where the emotion is coming from and if it’s been triggered by a situation that is similar to a past event. Let go of the past and face the present.

Adopt a mood of gratitude and happiness. Choose this mood intentionally, like you choose what you’re wearing or what activities you are putting in your calendar. (Note: If your care of self or care of time are not intentionally chosen, this may be a reason for your sour face!) Say yes to happy as a habit, like saying yes to high quality nutritious food, and consistent daily practices of movement.

Life is short, the work is part of it, and you can choose to be in overwhelm, stressed and depressed. Or you can choose to be a happy leader, enjoy each minute, enjoy the people working with and for you, enjoy the opportunity to deliver your team’s promises to your customers, and enjoy your life.

Don’t worry, be happy!

If you’re finding that the shift to happy is a challenge and would like support to make this transition, you’re invited to book a free strategy session with me at