Good leaders understand the four levels of happiness. With this simple knowledge, they are able to assist the group and help walk individuals from one level to the next as they become ready to do so. It allows the leader to recognize where individuals in the group are, without judging them, and communicate with them in the most effective way possible to achieve the group’s goals. 

What are the four levels of happiness you might ask? Let’s go backwards and begin with the end. 

Level 4: Ultimate Good: The objective at this level is to give and receive the ultimate meaning, goodness, ideals and love. The individual is not afraid to be transparent at this level, has nothing to hide and is focused on truth and love. Their gratification at this level is eternal. 

Level 3: Good Beyond Self: The objective at this level of happiness is that the individual is focused on doing good in their community and the world above or beyond themselves. Their characteristics at this level include principles of justice, love and community. They get that intrinsic goodness is an end in itself and their decisions are focused on the greater good. Their gratification at this level is long-term. 

Level 2: Personal Achievement/Ego: The objective at this, very human nature, level is to be the best, to gain advantage or be better than all the others. The characteristics include promotion of self and personal power. Control is key. At this level, people commonly deal with issues such as jealousy, fear of failure, contempt, isolation, loneliness and cynicism. The gratification at this level is short-term. 

Level 1: Immediate Gratification: The very simple objective here is to maximize pleasure and minimize pain. The typical characteristics at this level include an obligation to self alone. No particular desire for the common or ultimate good. There usually exists a lack of self worth, fear of tangible loss or harm and bouts of boredom. The gratification at this level is immediate!

These four levels can be measured relative to just about all things, for example, let’s examine “understanding love.” 

Level 4: Transcendence – Giving of oneself. 

Level 3: Commitment – To have higher ideals – respect the other 

Level 2: Narcissism – It’s all about me! 

Level 1: Lust! – Immediate, so called, pleasure 

These different levels are part of the human universal laws which exist. We can debate them all we want. The point is, whether we see it or not, they exist. The strong leader sees it, gets it, understands it and works within the human nature of it to assist his team in growing and performing at a super high level.