Have Fun At Work

Earlier this year the oldest of my three sons turned 15. We have a standing tradition in my house. On each person’s birthday I wake them up to a blaring rap song entitled It’s Your Birthday. Imagine being awaken from a dead sleep at 5:45am with someone jumping and dancing in the middle of your bed singing along to It’s Your Birthday. Yep, that is what I do each birthday. Oh what fun…at least for me.

Just because we have fun at our house does not mean we lack rules and order. Our kids do their home work, get good grades, and do their chores. It is important that as the leader of my family they get to see me come down from being Dad The Enforcer and enjoy me being silly and having fun.

Fun At WorkIn the same way you as a leader can create a fun and exciting culture by letting your team see you have fun. I do not mean showing up to work dancing down the hallways. Although, now I think about it; it may not be a bad idea!!! Great leaders look for ways to build a culture where their team has fun working hard. Here are a couple of ideas to help you create a fun culture.

  • Make a commitment to yourself to have fun at work( your team will follow your lead)
  • Create opportunities for your team to interact outside of a work assignment
  • Have an 1-2 hour ice cream social this summer
  • Take your team out to lunch or dinner to celebrate completion of a project
  • Have a talent or karaoke competition
  • Celebrate the opening of a sports season with Wear Your Favorite Team’s Jersey Day

The more opportunities you provide for your team to learn and have fun with each other outside of work projects the more fun they will have with work projects. Your team will learn more about each other and build personal bonds that will help them to work better as a team.

Great Leadership In 30 Minutes or Less

Great leadership does not have to take a large amount time. Here are some tips that will improve your leadership in 30 minutes or less per day. Have fun with these. Do not let it be a task but an opportunity for you to get outside of your box and enhance your leadership skills. These will eventually be the best 30 minutes of your day.

Inspire Me Monday: We could all use some inspiration on Mondays. Use Monday to set the tone for the rest of the week for yourself as well as your team. Use your 30 minutes today to have a quick meeting, conference call, or send an email to your team. The meeting or email is not to list all the problems you face for the week. It is not meant to review the plan. Your goal is to display great leadership by simply inspiring your team to accomplish the mission for the week. For example you may be having a big inspection on Thursday. You might say the following:

          Good Monday Morning! As you all are aware we are having a very important inspection this week. I know you are all busy preparing and will show why we are the leader in the industry. I look forward to the great results and celebrating our success.

You have set the tone for success. You have instilled trust, confidence, and pride in your team. They will not want to let you down.

Teach Me Tuesday: Great leaders are forever learning and building their skills. Invest in yourself by using your 30 minutes today to read an article related to your industry or on the topic of leadership.(This blog would be a great example… I’m just saying) Take the information you read and decide how you can use it this week. Knowledge is knowing something…Wisdom is putting it to use.

Wow Me Wednesday: Recognition is one of the most powerful tools of a great leader. Here is a sure fire way to wow someone. Use your 30 minutes today to find a person on your team or in another department to recognize for something they have done well. Make sure that you are specific about their accomplishment and how it affects the company. This could be done in several ways. The following are some examples:

  • Send a personal note or card to their home address
  • Send an email and cc their immediate team leader and the human resource director
  • Buy a couple gallons of Ice Cream. Send an email after lunch telling everyone what a great job the person did and that there is ice cream in the break room for everyone to celebrate.

Two TalkingTalk to Me Thursday: Great leaders listen. If you want to know what is right and wrong on your team just ask. Use your 30 minutes today to seek out one person on your team or from another department to pose the following question.

Can you tell me one thing that we are doing well and one thing that we can do better?
Spend no more than 15 minutes on each. Do more listening than talking and take notes. Even if you disagree continue to listen. Your goal here is to gain insight on the perception of others within the organization. This will give you clues on where you need to focus to be better.

Messy DeskFocus Me Friday: Fridays are good for planning and organization. Use your 30 minutes today to list at least three things you want to accomplish the following week. If any of those items require meetings make sure to send invites. This will help set up success for next week. Make sure the last thing you do before your leave on Friday is completely straighten your desk. One of the world’s worst feelings is walking in on a Monday and seeing you desk covered with “stuff”. A cluttered desk on Monday makes it difficult to get started.

Use these tips and watch how you develop a habit of inspiring, coaching, and great leadership.

Be A “Taker” and Take That Next Promotion

Take That PromotionWe are all looking for opportunities to advance our career and earn more money.  Waiting on that well deserved promotion can be very frustrating.   You cannot control the timing of when a position becomes available.  However, you can make yourself the obvious choice when it does.  Here are 3 ways to be a “taker’ and take that next promotion. 

Take Care of Your Company

Senior leadership searches for talent that will look out for the best interest of the company.  Ensure the daily decisions you make have a positive impact on the organization as a whole.  When facing important decisions reflect on each option and how it will move the organization closer to fulfilling its mission statement.  You will be promoted based on your decision making ability and how you take care of the company.

Take Care of Your Team Leader

When you have an opportunity to be considered for a promotion the person who will have the most influence will be your current team leader.  Make their recommendation a lock by taking care of them.  Your team leader reports to someone. If there is one thing team leaders hate it is surprises.  If there is a potential problem make sure your team leader knows about it first.  Do not let them hear it from the big boss.  Take care of them by ensuring they look good in front of their team leader.

Take Care of Your Team

It is very difficult to earn a promotion without team building skills.  You build a strong team by first earning their trust.  Trust is built over time and through experiences.  When someone on your team makes a mistake use the opportunity to coach and mentor.  When they do a great job make sure to recognize and reward them publicly as well as in private.  Once your team understands you have their best interest at heart they will take care of you and each other.

Usually when we refer to someone as a “taker” we are saying they will use and abuse others in order to get what they want.  In this instance we are taking care of others above ourselves.  A truth of this life is if you want something for yourself then make it happen for someone else.