Happy People Win: The Link Between Happiness and Outcomes

Happy People Win: The Link Between Happiness and Outcomes

Happy teams are led by happy and balanced people who prioritize personal and team well-being. This results in a more effective team and a positive impact on the community, family, and work.
successful meeting

The joy of working with happy people

At Projects RH we are often called upon to evaluate the likely success or otherwise of a business, CEO, or a team.  We have found over the years that happy teams are the winners and that they are led by happy and balanced people.

Happy people have personal balance and care that their team does too. It does not mean that the leaders work long and hard and expect the same of their team. Rather, it signifies that they acknowledge the fact that their hardworking team members need to foster their own strength and resilience.

For me, happy people have inner peace and a clear focus on reality without imposing precepts on the world. They accept the world as it is and seek to improve it for all.

We believe people with happiness as defined above are more effective and are able to make a greater contribution to their team, community, and their family. People with this inner sense of happiness or contentment are a joy to be with and make a difference to the functioning of the team.

Gretchen spoke out

One of the most practical books on this is Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project[1]. It is the story of a search for inner happiness by a woman who could have had it all. She gained a JD from Yale Law School, was Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law Journal, winner of the Edgar M. Cullen Prize and then clerked for a member of the Supreme Court. She and her husband then moved to New York, and she left the legal world and chose motherhood and journalism/authorship. She shows that we can find time to do what ought to be done – children, parents, and in-laws. She chose a balanced life. In effect, by putting others as a high priority she put herself first. Gretchen found time for herself and well as others – what she learned was to maintain a balanced life.

No one is not saying people don’t have to work smart and hard with some long hours, but they need to be doing things which make them happy and balanced.

At Projects RH, Carmenza and I love what we do, and we talk too much about business whilst keeping each other focused on what we need to do. Nevertheless, we make time for things we like doing and make us feel happy about the work. We enjoy working with our global team, but we also realized that we need to do other things. Carmenza believes family is important and will always put them first. We both take time for prayer and meditation.

Making the world work

We often say that we need balance between work, health, and fun. We see that people with a healthy mind and body are the most productive and innovative. In Projects RH’s business ideas matter and we need creative people to develop marketing scenarios which make investors think and buy. If we are stale, we are not going to see the thought in the sky or real message in a 3D photo. The value our people bring is an enquiring mind which can think outside the square.

Happiness – Our duty to us!

We do owe a duty to ourselves to be happy. Happiness is a primal driver of what we do, but our actions can be driven by a false belief that things can make us happy in the long term. We can do several things to encourage our own happiness including exercise, eating well, and managing our mind. I do remember vividly Carmenza talking to Christian one day and saying his most important duty to himself was to be happy. He chose a path with lead him to study, work and stay in Singapore. This may not be forever, but he has lived his dream and will not live with the question “if I only …”

People striving to be happy also strive to be authentic. Such people are a joy to have around and make a major contribution to the team.

One of the hardest things is to learn to accept criticism, especially from newer members of the team. Providing criticism is given in the right way, it is constructive. Then, we need to accept it and not let it get us down.

At Projects RH we work across borders and time zones. We all look forward to our respective team meetings. Most are scheduled. I do know at least one of our teams uses WhatsApp and posts across more than 15 hours of my day. We wake up to comments from the Americas and leave messages into Asia and the Sub-continent. It is an equalitarian place where questions are asked and answered plus comments are left and acted upon. For all it is a safe space.

Emotional Contagion

What Gretchen Rubin describes as emotional contagion is something we see in everyday life. We all like to work with happy and committed team players. People we know and "luve" get more out of us, and we feed off each other. We will go the extra mile for people we want to make happy. Recently, I saw one of my team finish a project at 4:30 am in her local time zone. I called to thank her for her effort and the quality of what had been produced. Her comment was, "I went out knowing I had promised this draft for your morning. I like '###' - our client - and am convinced that what they are proposing is good for the environment." Clearly, introducing the team to the client has had a benefit, but now the team's personal drivers allowed them to bond with the client and their vision. The passion transformed itself into a commitment, and it showed our team members getting happiness from completing a major task for a client they related to and had a personal affinity with. This work made them happy.

Happy Clients are the winners

We love working with good clients who have a clear understanding of what they want but are willing to be coached. Such clients make our work, as well as that of the team, rich and rewarding. When we work with our graphic artists, we are truly in their hands and I, for one, cannot judge their artistry. It is evident that artistry is driven not only by their enthusiasm but also by that of their team, especially the team leader. We completed a project on healthy food for domestic animals, and the graphics and artwork were a clear labor of love. We followed this with an early-stage medical cure. The lead editor had experience with such a disease in her family and connected with the story of the survivor who inspired the research. A happy team, satisfied team members, and a delighted client.


Within Projects RH, we can see that there is a clear link between happiness and outcomes. This happiness pertains to the inner spirit - contentment with the path and the hurdles they need to jump. It is no surprise that clients who are liked, achieve a superior rapport with consultants and get better outcomes. In the same way, happy clients know what they want and can convey it. In the model economy, good staff can always find other ways to earn money. We need to respect and understand that they need other rewards aside from money.

Happy clients will always get more from the team. Most of our clients are both smart and happy. They need to have the same generosity of spirit that they would expect from us. This comes naturally to successful people. At Projects RH, we are fortunate to have "nice" clients with "interesting" projects that offer professional rewards to our team and draw effort and energy from our team. Over the years, we have learned to say no to angry and rigid prospects.

Do you agree that happiness is infectious and brings out the best in teams?

By Paul Raftery, CEO of Projects RH, based in Sydney. We are happy to receive questions or comments at


[1] Rubin, G.; The Happiness Project, 10th Anniversary Edition, HarperCollins, New York, 2018.

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