Gross national happiness

The King of Bhutan’s leadership skills and philisophy of gross national happiness could provide an example for your business. MARCIA GRIFFIN

Marcia Griffin

By Marcia Griffin

Before I travelled to Bhutan I had heard of the concept proclaimed by the King of GNH – Gross National Happiness; as compared with our well-used GDP.

It was not until I travelled there that I gave the idea much thought – but I am now clear that what the king was talking about was a measure that values the overall quality of life of a nation, which of course incorporates protecting the natural environment.

The need to take the best of the past and marry it with the best of the future, to ensure that the community as a whole has a better quality of life, makes sense if you want a society to advance sustainably and harmoniously.

Interestingly, in our world we are dependent on psychiatrists to cure mental illness. In Bhutan I kept being told that hope, inspiration and harmony comes from the natural world.

So applying the idea of GNH seems to make sense not only in a whole-of-community context, but also inside a company.

Seems like the King of Bhutan is on to something, which we as business leaders could well take note of.

The thing that was impossible to get away from in Bhutan was the quality of the leadership and the King’s concern for his people. Another story that I was told was of the recent time the King asked rebels from Assam who had crossed from northern India into Bhutan, to leave the country and return to Assam.

The King had six meetings with the rebels in an attempt to get them to leave peacefully and on his last visit he went through this very mountainous area armed with apples as a sign of goodwill. Unfortunately these conversations were not successful so the army was called in to move the rebels on, but the King chose to lead the army himself.

Another interesting view of leadership, very pertinent when we remember Gallipoli and the terrible loss of life there.

In this mini-war with the rebels only a very small number of people died, and the King’s bravery has added to his legendary status. In today’s tough business environment, leading from the front would seem to be a worthwhile way of dealing with difficult times!

As I said in my first Bhutan blog, I went to this country expecting to enjoy, but I had not expected to learn so much in such a short time.

For me, travelling to Bhutan has confirmed the value of a few good habits I have developed over the years – jogging early in the morning to enjoy a peaceful and stress relieving sunrise, and frankly I intend to add a few more good habits to my own life and encourage those around me to enjoy each day on the way to success and happiness; most keenly by ensuring that one’s passion and commitment is directed to value adding and rewarding business.



To read more Marcia Griffin blogs, click here.

High Heeled Success is Marcia Griffin’s latest book, and is a frank account of building a business from a solitary sales person to a multi-million dollar business with 4700 sales consultants around Australia and New Zealand. It recounts successes and failures along the way and was written to inspire entrepreneurs-particularly women to triumph in business.

High Heeled Success (Kerr Publishing) is available directly from Marcia ([email protected]) or Domain Books



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