This week’s episode of the Grit Daily Like a Boss podcast features Mexico’s most trusted CEO. Simón Cohen has happiness front and center in all that he does. Not only for himself, but for his executive team and entire staff at Henco. Cohen is the Chairman and says that, “Henco Logistics is a company that embraces happiness and just happens to work in supply chain and logistics.”
Sometimes, it takes a life-threatening event to bring new perspective. A myopic quest for money early in his career led to lost time with his wife and three daughters. And then he had a major cardiac event while traveling in China. After that, happiness, which Cohen defines personally as a “sense of peace,” became his new mission. From there, his quest evolved into a model, “High Performance, Happy People” which has been featured at Harvard Business School. Happiness isn’t a natural part of business; it required Cohen to turn the business pyramid upside down. He said, “As a leader, I turned around the pyramid – it’s not them serving me, it’s me serving them.”
High Performance, Happy People model
Servant leadership is not new. Deploying it successfully in Mexico, with its infamous business culture of back-door deals, is not straightforward. “Being a CEO is lonely position,” quipped Cohen. “So you need to surround yourself with people that are better than you.”
Henco’s chairman appears to have found the elixir for high performance: happiness. His model has three pillars which gives rise to the fourth — high performance. Pillar one is anchored in wellness. He encourages everyone on his team to exercise and get a good night’s sleep. The second pillar is mindfulness; the company embraces meditation. Finally, the third pillar is happiness itself, and that needs no explanation! Combined, people are whole, healthy, and can perform at the top of their game. If any one of the pillars is weak, performance will be compromised. But if they’re fortified with happiness, people will feel fulfilled.
Happiness is being fulfilled
Fulfillment is the topic of Cohen’s first book. “I’m not an author,” he said, “But I poured my heart and soul into this.” You can buy, “Fulfilled,” here on Amazon. When asked how to find fulfillment and happiness, his answer was simple. “Stick to your values, go in a straight line – not bragging, not cheating, and have integrity. Forget about thinking about the past; the past brings you depression. And forget about thinking about the future because it brings you anxiety. Just live the moment and enjoy what you have now and know how blessed you are.”
Tune into the Grit Daily Like a Boss podcast anywhere that content is streamed to get your dose of warm, tingly, happy feelings. Mr. Cohen is an incredible and compassionate leader. He’s someone that we can all learn from.