Fun is sometimes thought of as fluff, as extra, like the marshmallowy goodness I used to slather on top of my peanut butter and between my white bread when I was a child. Fluff is delicious, but you don’t want to have it every day.
At wolf & heron, we don’t consider fun to be fluff. For leadership to truly be Fierce, and create lasting change on the world, it has to come from a place of fun, and it needs to be consistent.
Fun is the foundation of what makes Fierce Leadership work. At the end of the day, we know that the way you are your best self and bring out the best selves of those around you, is to make work, life and worklife (yup… we’ve made that a word) something you want to experience.
If you’re having fun, you’re more likely to show up, dig in and give more. It makes it possible for you to push hard, work through the challenges and enjoy the celebrations of the wins. Fun is the antidote to burnout and a source of energy. Fun creates followership. If you create and contribute to a fun environment, people will naturally gravitate toward you, and stick around for the long haul.
Fun is important scientifically too:
- As adults, we’ve forgotten how to play like the children we once were. Play is the cornerstone of creativity and exploration. Fun is the cornerstone of play.
- Setting a tone of fun for yourself and your team expands the space and permission for people to truly move into their whole and best selves. It’s no coincidence that people often use the term “buttoned up” or “flat” to describe un-fun people, because they’re not fully expanding into who they can be.
- Positive emotions lead to greater creativity, problem solving and broaden your possible solution set (see Frederickson’s Broaden and Build theory).
Here are some ideas of what leading from a place of fun might look like:
- The work you do is connected to a greater purpose - one that you and your team connect to in a meaningful way. At w&h, our greater purpose is to unleash the power of Fierce Leaders on the world to create lasting, positive impact.
- Share moments of gratitude with yourself and those you work with. We choose to have a monthly celebrations meeting where we look back on the previous month and actually record all the awesomeness we accomplished.
- Publicly recognize your strengths and those of the people around you. At our annual retreat, we share our strengths and also share what we value in the other person.
- Infuse your routines with something smile-worthy. At w&h our weekly on-the-business strategy sessions are called “Weekly Awesome!” on the calendar. Also, Stephanie’s ringtone on my phone is, “All I Do is Win.”
Click here to read our note on the definition of Fierce Leaders.
What are some ways you make your worklife fun?
- Kara Davidson, Co-Founder, wolf & heron