team happiness is a byproduct

 “Whenever you make something, you always make something else.You can’t just make one thing.” -Jason Fried (Rework)


Whether you realize it or not, what you do every day produces more than what you intend.

If you are selling cars, you are also learning about customer service.  If you are teaching in any capacity, you are also likely learning valuable ways that technology can be used to educate and connect people.

Regardless of your chosen field or primary career, you are without exception also producing useful “waste” that you may be able to turn into profits.

One obvious example is found in the lumber industry. When saw mills were first created, people didn’t think of how to make use of the sawdust or other waste products. After some time, though, they realized they could package their “waste” into useful products and even sell them at a profit. Things like garden mulch and kindling soon turned out to be big business.

Have you enjoyed a glass of water today?  Desalination is the process of taking out the salt from sea water to make it safe for drinking. Drinking water is the main product produced by desalination, while salt is the very useful byproduct.  That salt may not be the intended product, but the process of creating it also provides an unintended (but beneficial) byproduct.

Have you grilled anything recently?  Henry Ford, while producing the Model T, learned of a process for turning wood scraps into charcoal briquettes. He built a charcoal plant and Ford Charcoal was created (the company was later renamed Kingsford Charcoal).   Today, Kingsford is still the leading manufacturer of charcoal in America.

So why is this information important to you?  Well, your happiness, and the happiness and morale of the team you lead, has a direct impact on success and productivity.  But you CANNOT produce happiness!

When the Declaration of Independence states we have the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, it did immeasurable harm to millions of people.  Pursuing happiness is a frustrating and fruitless waste of time.  Happiness is only found as a byproduct – it is produced through the manufacture of other things (like service and thankfulness).

Happiness is certainly beneficial, desired, and valuable, but to create it you must become intent on manufacturing other things your primary focus.  There are two things you can make that will always produce this desired byproduct.

1. Make other people’s lives better through service

2. Make a list of what you are grateful for


In the movie Peaceful Warrior, the following dialogue takes place:

Dan: “Hey Socrates, if you know so much, why are you working at a gas station?”

Socrates: “It’s a service station. We offer service. There’s no higher purpose.”

Dan: “… Than pumping gas?”

Socrates: “Service to others.”

It is impossible to make a list of the many things you have to be thankful for without happiness and improved morale being far behind as a byproduct.

This is, admittedly, not an exhaustive list.  There are, without question, a number of other things you can make that also produce the byproduct of happiness, but thankfulness and service to others are most assuredly produce the greatest amounts.

Looking for a way to improve the lives of those around you? 

Give them a chance to grow and play, building communication and leadership skills through a fun day of business team building activities.  After a day of laughter and learning, your team will all be more grateful for the talents and diversity within the group.