Organization: The Big Joy Theory. Title: Joy Hacker. Preferred pronouns: He/Him/His.
Current projects: Publishing another book and launching a joy coaching certification program. Latest accomplishment: I’m competing this profile, does that count? Latest contribution to others: Leveraging joy so that people can be better leaders. Last book read: Journey Into the Heart of Being, by Acharya Premananda. Recently viewed and recommended: Hudsucker Proxy, an older Coen Brothers film that beautifully captures what I like to call “Corporate Mindset” thinking. Recent unique acquisition: Ceremonial Ox Cart (Nandi in Hindu tradition), converted into a bookshelf.
How do you define a perfect friendship? Co-creating through joy as informed by the wisdom of each partner’s heart. How do you define an ideal business relationship? Just exactly the same way. What is your greatest joy? Helping others to unburden themselves from the shackles of limited thinking. What ingredient is essential to your perfect vacation? Peace.
What’s featured prominently on your office wall? A calligraphy by Thich Nhat Hanh that reads, “There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.” What is the best advice you received growing up? The best thing about being called an asshole is that it frees you up to actually be an asshole. What is your favorite app? The “off” button.
What is your big idea? That by tapping into your experiences of joy you can free yourself and others. What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field? To revolutionize leadership from an industrial era mindset focused on output maximization to a more evolved mindset focused on transcendence. What widely held belief do you reject? That 99% of the people we revere as leaders are actually worthy of our praise.
What object would you save first from your burning home? Remember that Ceremonial Ox Cart bookshelf from a few questions ago? Probably that, it was pretty expensive. But seriously, as long as my wife and dogs are out of the house, the rest can go. How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? I'd spend it entirely with those I love most and eating ridiculous amounts of BBQ (timed perfectly to ensure that I’ll be gone before the digestive repercussions hit). What advice would you give your younger self? You’re right. Just keep going. Don’t listen to them. What moment in your life would you like to re-live? First laying eyes on my wife. Time froze and I’ve never been able to quite replicate that feeling. What period in your life would you do differently if you could? College. Northwestern is a sad place.
Personal mission: To fundamentally change how we lead and view leadership. Personal motto: The greatest risk in life is to stay where you already know that you are not in joy. Favorite quote: “There is no passion to be found in playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one that you are capable of living” (Nelson Mandela). Desired epitaph: In service.