Last week I was talking to one of our Voxa team members about how we’re doing as a team. We now have 7 full-time and with some extra hands helping out part time, it’s a very early-stage team of 9 high-energy Voxans. It was a good dialog around finding the best role for everyone on the team and how and where each person adds value specifically. He wanted to be sure he was performing up to par. Knowing how you’re doing can be tricky when the roles are so early and not yet clearly defined. Of course I assured him that he’s doing a fantastic job and then it occurred to me to ask him a very important question:
“Are you having fun?”
At the time, that question even caught me a little off guard. In all my years leading small teams, I have asked many questions. Questions like:
- On a scale from 1 to 10, how are you feeling this week about the company?
- Are you satisfied with your job here?
- Would you recommend to your best friend get a job here?
But for some reason, I have never thought to ask “Are you having fun?”
I’m not sure why I’ve never asked that question. Perhaps because work isn’t about having fun, it’s about making money, getting s**t done, making a mark. But isn’t doing something meaningful supposed to be fun? Isn’t pushing yourself to be better and to make a mark supposed to be FUN? If it’s not fun, then isn’t there something else you can be doing?
This question has been hanging in my mind since last week and I will continue to think about it. Even when it’s hard as hell, when we lose deals, when people quit, when competitors win… looking back, it should still be fun… I think. Don’t you?
Our parents never came home from work and answered the “How was your day at the office” question with “It was FUN!” And looking at my own routine, I probably don’t say that enough either. But as I sit here writing in the clear-thought and positivity of the morning with an objective outlook on the day, I’m wondering if I should start focusing more on the fact that what I do is a ton of fun. What if my kids can grow up hearing me say repeatedly that when I was away from them, I was having fun.
Why not? What’s the downside? If you look at the construction of success, I hardly think you would find that fun is a detractor. Winning customers is fun. A productive team is fun. A hard day of meetings is even fun. The challenge of a hard competitive battle over a big deal is fun… even when you lose (sometimes).
This is an energy boosting topic for me and I hope it will be for you as well. Ask your team if they are having fun and try to evaluate your day and verbalize to others that you’re having fun. Who knows— maybe if you say it often enough, the next hard day that comes along won’t feel quite as hard and you might even squeeze out a grin.