Thursday, July 25, 2013

Leadership through laughter. Or why fun is profitable. (or at least fun...)

   There is nothing quite so therapeutic or disarming as a laugh. Some of our best ads use them, and many of our fondest memories are of a good shared laugh. But too often offices are like quiet libraries where laughter is,well, not very professional or even plain old dead. Why?

  During the course of running Omega Insurance Services into the Inc. 500 twice, I would say there were very few days that passed where we didn't all bust up laughing over something. Now given the size of the company, not everyone was always there, but it was in "our blood". The place was wired for levity. For fun. Why?

   Because a) It is free. It cost nothing to have a fun work environment. You might have to be at the end of the joke at times. If that's the greatest pain you every feel, lucky you. b) It loosens people up. This is a huge advantage. People who are not worried about their next move relax and get the job done, instead of spending an inordinate amount of time worried about their "image". c) It is infectious. People like to be with fun people. Customers feel it, prospective employees feel it. It ends up permeating the company. Why does that matter?

   It matters because all those things lead to a better bottom line. You'll make more money if people are enjoying themselves. They're not spending time complaining, their not sitting worried about their job, or some goofy gossip. They're working and enjoying themselves. Most importantly, to me at least, is that if you aren't having fun, I reckon you should examine your choice of career.

   Perhaps this is a matter of philosophy. But if you look around at the best companies, I dare say that the one's that stay on top do it with a combined commitment to excellence and fun. Even if it turns out to give you the same bottom line, isn't it more enjoyable to be in a place that's a little loose, where smiles prevail?

   It's your business or career, and your life. Why not enjoy it?

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1 comment:

  1. Fun is very first goal working in a classroom was to develop environment of friendship or camaraderie and it was through laughter my goal was achieved. Less or no fear nor shame after a good laugh.