Having Fun in the Workplace!
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Volume I, April, 2003 Issue
Inspirational Leadership – Having Fun in the Workplace!
T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S
- Having FUN with Leadership
- Meeting for Results
- Leadership - Push vs. Pull Exercise!
- The Juice Bar
- Making Sure Motivation Lasts
- Reader Meter
- Site News
Having FUN with Leadership
”Don't measure your life by your goals, but rather by what you are DOING to acheive them.”
One of the biggest mistakes leaders make is getting so wrapped up in achieving results, they forget to ensure that people are having fun along the way.
Indeed, having fun is a key ingredient of keeping employee morale up, and inspiring people to continue to work agressively toward a common set of objectives.
We, here at Leadership-Tools.com, were recently discussing the subject of inspirational leadership.
Although our discussion took many detours into various subject areas, we found ourselves returning to the basic concept of - having FUN in the workplace.
As a leader, you might be thinking that "FUN" is important, but it cannot be paramount in terms of achieving results.
We challenge you, however, to NOT just think of having fun in terms of it's "webster" definition.
As a leader, YOU need to define "Fun", and communicate YOUR definition of "Fun" to your team.
First, let us lay the foundation with a bit of "FUN - philosophy" as we work toward our own definition of "Leadership Fun in the Workplace".
We believe there is a HUGE difference between highly successful leaders and those leaders who are working incredibly hard, but not quite acheiving the same level of results.
The difference, we believe, is in leadership styles. What do we mean?
The highly successful leader today facilitates, leads by example, encourages and participates with their team members to achieve TEAM results.
When the entire team feels fully engaged and a part of the process, then every team member takes personal pride in achieving the results.
Having FUN along the way supports engagement of each team member. Think about it, being "engaged" is fun.
Let's be frank, the days where the leader is a strong authoritative director and where all employees simply wait to see what the manager tells everyone to do . . . does NOT produce the results that are recognized by a fully engaged team. The leader may be having fun, but his/her subordinates certainly are not.
Managers who want to micro-manage all the details are finding that it is virtually impossible to do. The marketplace simply demands too much for one person to micro-manage their team.
We all have incredible people working for us, and if we are effective leaders we need to create an environment where every employee feels like they are empowered, and understands they are expected to proactively contribute.
Okay, let's get to our definition of Leadership Fun in the Workplace.
To those of us here at Leadership-Tools.com, FUN is NOT always laughing, being light-hearted, having low stress, and being comfortable - quite the contrary:
Working in an environment where people are challenged, they learn new skills, they grow, they seek opportunity and advancement, they take risks, they ask forgiveness - not always permission.
People with these traits make an organization grow - these people succeed more often than fail - and ultimately reap the rewards and recognition of one who consistently acheives results.
They stay motivated with the knowledge that they are the exception to the common rule of human behavior.
All told, they are having FUN because they make a difference and a contribution - they simply do not allow themselves to settle for the status quo. They would rather experience "engagement" - because being engaged - is FUN!
Good luck, and have fun.
Meeting for Results
Leadership Push vs. Pull Exercise
At your next staff meeting consider leading your team through the following discussion.
This lesson is focused on getting people to think in terms of leadership. When helping a co-worker, or a customer, employees must understand their role as a leader. The exercise goes like this:
Introduction of the Exercise: (feel free to create your own similar story to support the exercise)
Like many who come from a small town, I was amazed at the number of transients who made the campus of the university I attended, their local residence.
At first, the idea of having to walk past many of these individuals was a bit scary. I was not accustomed to being solicited for money or "spare change".
However, after a few weeks of walking to class and regularly being asked for "a quarter for a cup of coffe", the experience quickly became routine.
In fact, after a while, if I didn't see one of the regular pan-handlers for a period of time, I would wonder where he was keeping himself.
Certainly, after a brief period, the transients became a small part of my environment, part of my daily experience of college life. Over time, I got to know some of them by name, and they become familiar with who I was.
In any event, one of the most notable transients I became acquainted with was a man by the name, Uncle Ben. Uncle Ben could often be seen dragging a short rope behind him as he walked down the street.
You might think, by watching Uncle Ben, that he was delusional and under the incorrect assumption that he had a dog tied to the end of the rope.
Uncle Ben would look back at the end of the rope as he walked, and say - "come on now, keep up."
Very often someone would witness this behavior as Uncle Ben approached, and they would ask simply, "Why are you pulling that rope?"
(At this point, give each team member a short piece of string and ask them to experiment with the "rope". Pull it back and forth along the table. Then ask them to guess as to what Uncle Ben's response is going to be. Then continue the story.)
Again, very often someone would witness the behavior as Uncle Ben approached, and they would ask simply, "Why are you pulling that rope?"
Uncle Ben would quickly reply, "Well have you ever tried PUSHING a rope, it doesn't work very well." This always made Uncle Ben holler in laughter as he kept walking past the person who would inquire.
You have to give Uncle Ben credit. Indeed, you can't very well push a rope.
In conclusion, make this strong point to your group:
By "pulling" the rope, it will follow you anywhere. Try to "push" it, and the rope goes nowhere at all.
The same can be said for the art of leadership.
Leadership is the ability to make people want to follow you. They do that when they see that you are willing to work alongside them and take a vested interest in their success.
People will follow you if they feel you know where you are taking them. If they feel you have integrity and truly care about their success.
We must each pull our co-workers with us. We must pull our customers toward us. Otherwise, we run the risk of pushing them away.
The Juice Bar
Making Sure Motivation Lasts!
"When professional golfer Sam Snead was asked how to putt, he said - 'Putt for one hundred dollars'."
- Bob Shieffer
So how do we STAY motivated? Quite simply, on a regular bases, we must PURSUE IT.
Being motivated is a gift. Staying motivated is a process that must remain a priority in order to consistently achieve optimal results.
When asked about our new website, Leadership-Tools.com, we often hear people say something like: "Oh, you are in the motivation business."
While this is partly true, this is certainly not a totally accurate description of our purpose.
The other day I was speaking with a gentleman who, somewhat harshly, declared: "Yeah, I paid to sit through an entire day of motivational speakers. Although I enjoyed it, and left very energized, it didn't last very long, and before I knew it I was back where I started."
I ask you,"Why on earth would anyone think that taking actions for becoming motivated or inspired is something you should do once and then expect it to last?"
Here is the answer to this question, profoundly stated by famous motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar:
"Motivation doesn't last, but neither does taking a bath. That's why we recommend it DAILY."
Never has a quote been so appropriate.
Indeed, staying motivated is dependant upon our daily process. Just like building a strong and healthy body through daily diet and exercise, we must FEED our minds daily with motivational tools and resources that promote a positive, empowering, creative, challenging, and exciting lifelong experience.
THAT is why Leadership-Tools.com is here. To help you in this endeaver.
"Anyone can dabble, but once you've made that commitment, your blood has that particular thing in it, and it's very hard for people to stop you."
— Bill Cosby
Still Marching On!
Leadership-tools.com continued to move forward during the month of March.
People visited our site from 39 Countries.
Our subscriber base continues to grow daily and our traffic ranking on the web continues to impress our peers.
Once again, on behalf of all of us here at Leadership-Tools.com – THANK YOU FOR YOUR
LEADERSHIP AND SUPPORT!
On The Horizon for Leadership-Tools.com
As we stated last month, we continue to plan for many new improvements to the Leadership-Tools.com website. Some of the new additions in the works include:
- New Page of Inspirational Quotes
- Leadership TIPS - Tips and checklists for addressing a wide variety of leadership issues
- Intro to Leadership - Free Leadership Assessment Tool
- Leadership in Profile - Highlighting everyday leader's success stories
- Leadership Opportunity - How to quickly and inexpensively get your own business on line in a matter of weeks. Just like we did!
- Presentations on Leadership Topics, available for immediate download.
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