You know those songs, the ones that remind you of your youth…and make you smile and tap your toes or move your shoulders? One of those was Jack & Diane by John Cougar (at that time he was John Cougar) for me. I heard it yesterday after a frustrating travel experience. I couldn’t help but turn up the sound in my rental and sing loudly. It was great and more importantly I felt better.
And that got me to thinking…when was the last time I had fun like that at work? This in turn took me back to a time with the Look Team for the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Games. A time when we were set to move to our Gamestime location; away from the high rise office building to the splendor of a double wide trailer out behind a warehouse. We were all tired. It was a late day team meeting that got off the rails when one of our team laughed at some comment someone made. Not just any laugh, this a Count Chocula laugh…and one of our senior team hadn’t heard it before. His reaction of shock and awe moved to bent over laughter which became contagious. And so it began…a seemingly endless session of giggling, smiling, snorting and chuckling…and it was awesome.
Why don’t we laugh more at work? We spend so much time there…why can’t it be fun? One thing I love about Games and Olympics and Events is the craziness that seems to be part of the package. The practical jokes, the nicknames, the mishaps, the ‘characters’, it’s a venue for the unique and the adventurous. I think we can still have professionalism and laugh, we can still present a good image and play jokes, and we can playfully name each other and not get sued. If its allowing dogs in the office, playing music, initiating ‘fun Fridays’ or promoting individualization of their work space, it’s a step in the right direction.
I challenge you to bring humour back to work, to make it fun and to make it somewhere people want to go and be and spend a bulk of their lives. Our Team is 2002 was not comprised of identical people, quite the opposite, but that laughing session was part of what made us a great team. It starts at the top; so be a leader that has fun, is fun and better yet is funny…