When I was a 17 year old junior in High School, I went on an overnight trip to the Indiana Dunes State Park with my high school football team. We played two hand-touch football and tackle volleyball games and cooled off from both in Lake Michigan. We also pitched tents and stayed up most of the night talking and pulling pranks on each other around a campfire. Ahh the good old days! Last week we had our 7th annual “Lake Day” where each work day a different group of Aquascapers clock in at the office and head up to Wisconsin for fun and frolicking together while getting paid for it. Ahh the good old days! FUN is one of our four company values (along with CHARACTER, TEAM, and WINNING) because whether you’re trying to WIN a game on the gridiron or WIN in business having “FUN” doing it is a key component to succeeding at whatever you do. Unfortunately I see many coaches and bosses who miss this principle and more often than not their corresponding results speak for themselves. Not sure if you buy it? Answer me this then…Are most people happy or unhappy in their jobs?! Survey after survey shows very few people are even remotely happy in their job. You know why?…because they aren’t having FUN! “Oh” you say, “I’LL give you that but work isn’t supposed to be fun, it’s work after all!” According to Fortune magazine the #1 indicator of a company’s future success is not what the size of their research and development budgets, it’s not their current percent of market share or even their customer’s satisfaction with their goods or services. All those are important factors of course, but none of them are more important to a company’s future success than employee’s job satisfaction. Fortune’s research showed once employees become unsatisfied in their job their engagement goes down and that’s when the rest of the areas like customer service, product quality, innovation, etc. begin to decline. How satisfied, and energized, can you be if you’re not happy doing what you do?! Which begs the question, how happy with their jobs are your Teammates?!
Back to football that sport and in particular the TEAM that influenced me so positively many moons ago. My junior year, (the one where we went to the Dunes) we came from being unranked to going 13-1 and winning the State Title! Question, does the more talented team WIN or the one who comes together and plays as a TEAM? Well my senior year as defending State Champs and with 17 returning lettermen we were ranked #1 in the state. But for a variety of reasons (including losing our coach for the first three games) we didn’t come together as a TEAM and when we faced adversity, we cracked, finishing 5-4. My senior year was decidedly “unfun” and for that I am happy.
The lessons I learned having FUN my junior year and WINNING it all were contrasted with the extreme disappointment of my senior year. I saw what bad CHARACTER led to as my team splintered. Business and life is hard enough as it is. To not have FUN in the process not only makes for a miserable existence but a less successful outcome more often than not. If your TEAM isn’t having FUN it’s my job and your job as well, to change that.
P.S. I had more fun writing this, thanks to the Southwest Airlines flight attendant who sang and joked her way through the “monotonous” instructions they “have to” read. She had everyone on the plane smiling while clapping and laughing with her! I don’t see that on United or American flights or any other airline I fly. Is it any wonder that only one airline flying our “friendly” skies makes money year after year? Whether you take it from me or Southwest put FUN into your business routine and you just might find your bottom line improving with your smile lines!
It rained for one of the days at the lake. We broke out board games and had FUN! You can make FUN anywhere…just ask that Southwest Stewardess.
Nothing says FUN like Cabo!