Are you having fun doing what you are doing? Too often folks associate “fun” with “lightweight” or "not earnest." We even throw around the word “serious” as if it is a compliment, as in, “She has a serious job.”
There are certainly times when humor and/or a lighthearted approach simply don’t feel appropriate, but my sense is that there are a lot of folks who are suffering from, well, a serious need of lightening up a bit. We need to make a habit of looking for more fun in our days—asking how we can “make it more fun,” or at least feel better in more life situations—especially at work. After all, are we more productive and of the most value to others when we are “grinding,” or when we are in in the midst of inspired action?
Certainly neuroscience supports this argument! In fact, this entry is an expansion on my comment responses to colleague, Jesse Lynn Stoner’s excellent post on rewiring your brain for leadership. Jesse’s advice includes guiding our thoughts toward the pleasant and the positive, especially during periods of high-demand on our personal resources.
This blog is focused on self-leadership, so let’s expand on our personal mental models of what is fun. My idea of fun includes inner life fun, and “inspired action” fun. A partial list…
Free Download, "Leadership as Connection" (Link at the End of this Post)
I’ve always thought that there was more to work than the work. We give our work meaning. Without the meaning we give to it, work seems like just “moving stuff around.” This is true whether that "stuff" is ideas or services or widgets or widget parts. When we get too serious about the moving stuff around part, and don’t balance that with the human-value part in the equation, well, work’s not as fulfilling or fun (and make no mistake, fulfillment and fun are big parts of employee engagement).
What’s love got to do with it? Love makes a leader a leader.
~Lucira Jane Nebelung
My self-leadership is self-authority—my power to author my life, from the inside out. It's my freedom to make choices that make sense to me, regardless of outside influence. This doesn't mean that I don't factor in consensus belief, or that I dismiss what others think. It does mean that when I'm on my game, the buck stops with me, and I like it that way.
How do we give our leadership away? Let us count the ways: