“Any individual or business that wants great success must take the concept of play seriously. For that matter, play should be the only thing taken seriously.
Play in the workplace is not frivolous, as the hard work advocates would have you believe. Quite the contrary, play has enormous practical value…
Play allows the mind to flow without restrictions – to explore, to experiment, to question, to take risks, to be adventurous, to create to innovate, and to accomplish – without fear of rejection or disapproval. Thus a business that regards fun as “unprofessional” or “improper” or “trivial” or “out of place” stifles the creative and progressive process. That’s like running a highly competitive race with one foot stuck in a bucket.”
– Fred Gratzon, author of The Lazy Way to Success.
“There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do.”
– Freya Stark (Thx Mike)
“Work is either fun or drudgery. It depends on your attitude. I like fun.”
– Colleen C. Barrett, President and Corporate Secretary for Southwest Airlines
Really, getting to do what you love to do every day, that’s the ultimate luxury. And particularly when you can do it with terrific people around you.
– Warren Buffett
From this interview which demonstrates very clearly, that the reason Warren Buffett has made so much money is that he doesn’t care much about money :o)
Many of us are trying almost desperately to hold on to the belief that bringing more toys into the workplace will make things more fun.
It seems to me, however, that bringing more toys into the workplace to make work more fun is like bringing more canaries into the mine to make the mine safer. If the environment is toxic, it’s time to get out of the mine.
– Bernie deKoven (source)
Right on, Bernie!
And may I add that if the environment is toxic, bringing in motivational speakers, inspirational posters or just about any other gimmick you can think of is useless. Or worse than useless, because it will be seen as an attempt to distract people from the real problems.
Some of the world’s most successful business leaders believe strongly in having fun and being happy at work.
Check out these quotes:
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you havenít found it yet, keep looking. Donít settle.”
– Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple
“Work should always be fun for all colleagues. We all only have one life. A third of life is work. Without desire and fun, work becomes hell.”
– Ingvar Kamprad, founder of IKEA
“Each individual should work for himself. People will not sacrifice themselves for the company. They come to work at the company to enjoy themselves.???
– Soichiro Honda, founder of (surprise!) Honda
“Fun is at the core of the way I like to do business and it has been the key to everything Iíve done from the outset. More than any other element, fun is the secret of Virginís success.???
– Richard Branson, founder of Virgin
Saaaaaay… maybe there’s something to this happiness at work thing after all :o)
“I don’t want to wake up in the morning and dread going to work. The first time I feel that I can’t be myself in my job, I’m gone. Employers need to understand that.”
– Leticia Gonzalez, a 23-year old San Diego restaurant employee (source)
Yes! Gen-X’ers and -Y’ers are much less likely to treat a job as just a job and to conform to standards and behaviors they don’t see the point of. This is a good thing, not something they need to grow out of or have beaten out of them.
If you ask me, being yourself is one of the most fundamental factors that make us happy at work.
I thought I’d pull out and publish some quotes from my brand new book about happiness at work:
“Seriously: Do you want to spend your working life simply being satisfied? When you look back on 50 years spent in business, do you want to be able to say, ďWell, I was satisfied???? No! Make happiness your goal. As in, ďLetís make this a workplace where people are happy to work.??? As in, ďIíve been working for 50 years now, and it absolutely rocks! To me work is challenging, stimulating and just plain fun.??? ”
“Imagine for a moment how it would feel to lie in bed on a Monday morning going ďYES! I get to go to work this week!???”
“Studies consistently show that happy companies are way more productive, creative and service-oriented than unhappy ones. Therefore, the happy companies will beat the pants off the unhappy ones in the market place. The future of business is happy! Itís inevitable.”
“See, happiness at work is an emotion. It comes from inside of you, and like all other emotions it is difficult to define, but inescapable once itís present. Or not present. Can you define love? Poets have tried for thousands of years and arenít getting much closer. But when youíre feeling love, youíre acutely aware of it, even though you have no formal definition.”
“You canít be happy at work every day. No matter how much you love your job, there are still going to be bad days. And thatís coolóitís always OK to have a bad day at work.”
“Happiness at work is not about eliminating all the bad stuff from your job. Itís about being happy at work even though some of these bad things are present. Itís about building your skills and your energy to fix the problems, and to create more and more positive experiences at work.”
“The path to happiness at work starts with a simple decision: You must want to be happy. If you donít commit to being happy at work, you wonít be. You wonít make the choices that make you happy. You wonít take the actions needed to get there. You wonít change the things that need to change.”
All of these are plucked from just the introduction and the first chapter. Hey – that book is pretty quotable :o) You can buy it or read the whole book free online.
A strong competent leader is a wonderful asset. So is a strong competent bonded team. These don’t have to be mutually exclusive although many strong leaders do interfere with team dynamics. The team has a higher “truck number”. (as in “How many of us can get hit by a truck before we’re doomed”? – a useful risk metric for project work).
The bonded team provides an advantage in resilience vs. the strong leader model. The value of this advantage varies considerably with context.
– Mark Delaney (source)
First of all: That’s a great quote and a nice balanced view of centralized leadership vs. decentralized leadership. Secondly: Truck number is a hilarious (albeit grim) metric.