The customary non holiday of April Fool’s Day is tomorrow. This is the day that over time people have used as an opportunity to prank a fellow colleague with a harmless gag in order to bring some fun and enjoyment to the relationship. Our society and business world has fallen away from having fun. With all the dynamics of the past 24 months dealing with pivots, changes and fears we lost sight of having fun.
It was back when the Winter Olympics were on TV, and they were talking to various athletes after their competition was completed. There was an interesting subtheme which was picked up on by some of the people doing the reporting. That subtheme was about the athletes referencing that they do their very best when they are having fun.
I found this fascinating. When you think about what these athletes give up in order to prepare for the Olympics let alone the stress of the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and even financial aspects of their lives. Although I did not catch an interview where an athlete revealed the deep commitment in detail to the reporter there was an absolute understanding of the intense drive and commitment to excellence.
Sometimes as leaders we too get caught up in the excellence mode and dismiss that we can all do our very best when we are having fun and enjoying what we are contributing to. It is very easy to dismiss fun and enjoyment because we have “Work” to do. If we take into consideration that world class athletes can up their performance by having fun in the moment of truth, then we as leaders need not be fools about this in our own businesses.
We can invest into the best tools, training, and environment, but if at the end of the day we are not having fun then the enjoyment of why we are involved begins to break down. This starts the dominos falling as staff begins to look elsewhere for fun in their careers and employment opportunities. As the leader you are now back to attracting more people to your business and if the culture does not improve then they too will exit because there is no recognition of having fun in the workplace.
Fun and contribution do need to go hand in hand. One does not take precedence over the other. What fun does is add that special touch to your team’s contribution and lifts their spirits when the dynamics of a business or personal situation has them in a clouded place.
This week take a look at your team and ask yourself – are they having fun? Are you having fun? What could be done to enhance the environment to not only make it more fun to be in but also up the contribution for better outcomes. As the Olympic athletes indicated it still takes hard work, discipline, and some luck to win a metal, but without having fun they can’t be at their best. Allow your people to be not only contributors but be at their best by having some fun.
All work and no play make your culture pretty boring. Looking for ways to spice up your culture with fun? Reach out to JKL Associates at MI (313) 527-7945 or FL (407) 984-7246