Cliff Oxford at the New York Times:
I think there are two types of happiness in a work culture: Human Resources Happy and High Performance Happy. Fast-growth success has everything to do with the latter and nothing to do with the former.
Here’s how I define H.R. Happy: Bosses are at least superficially nice and periodically pretend to be interested in employees as people.
High Performance Happy is an attitude with a skill set that says we are on a mission that is bigger than any one of us. We find our happiness in being on a world class team that is making a difference.
Cliff hits it on the head. It’s such a shocking realization to see this difference in practice. In one, people show up to work because they have to. They may even enjoy what they do. But in the other, there’s this underlying drive to do something amazing that is infectious. You do great work because the people around you are doing even better work. You learn and get better every day.