My leadership has been shaped over the years by many different authors, speakers and mentors. Mark Miller is one of those authors that has significantly influenced my thinking. In the following guest post, Mark reminds us how our leadership is affected by everything we do in life, even what we do with our free time.
My passion and my calling is to encourage and equip leaders. So, why would I write a post built around the question, “What do you do for fun?” Well, my motive is multi-faceted. I have several reasons.
If we want to lead well, we must continually expand our world. Doing things for fun is a pathway to a larger world. Hobbies, travel, adventure, even reading widely can be fun and help us lead at a higher level. If all we do is work, we actually limit our impact.
If we want to lead to our full potential, I believe we’ve got to recharge our own batteries from time to time. I understand people engage in different activiites to replenish themselves; however, fun is an outstanding way to clear our minds and refresh our spirit. I was taught at an early age to see recreation as Re-Creation. Fun is therapeutic!
Our attitude and emotional state are contagious. Like it or not, people always watch the leader. More than that, your demeanor will, over time, be reflected in your team. When we engage in “fun” activities, whatever that looks like for us as individuals, it affects our outlook, our countenance and our attitude. That impacts our team. Have some fun this weekend and see how it translates on Monday morning back at the office.
The most common push back I get on this one is, “I don’t have time.” If that’s where you are, I have two thoughts for you…
When my wife worked outside the home, she had a very demanding job. Often it would require her to literally work for days without coming home! One morning, as I was getting ready for work, she arrived home. She told me her supervisor sent her home. I asked why. She said, “He told me that if you have a mule and you kill him, you don’t have a mule anymore.” We decided it was the first time she’d been called a mule.
If you’re working too much to have time for some fun in your life, or you’re allowing members of your team to live that lifestyle, you’re going to kill the mule… then you won’t have a mule.
Finally, if you are too busy to have any fun outside the office, pull out your calendar and schedule it. You and I both know once something is on our calendars, we have a high success rate of making it happen. I have just begun discussions with my wife and my assistant about “fun” for 2017. In a matter of days, I will have locked in dates. Try it, you might like it.
Now, go and have fun!
Originally published on GreatLeadersServe.com
Mark Miller is the best-selling author of 6 books, an in-demand speaker and an executive at Chick-fil-A. His latest book, Leaders Made Here, describes how to nurture leaders throughout the organization, from the front lines to the executive ranks and outlines a clear and replicable approach to creating the leadership bench every organization needs.
I recently spoke with a friend about an issue that his organization was facing that was causing him significant frustration. They had experienced an equipment failure that caused significant downtime for their production line. In response, the leadership team demanded that all the similar parts on the line be replaced, regardless of condition.
My friend indicated that this particular part was one that could easily be inspected for wear and only be replaced if necessary. They did not typically fail without warning. If all the parts had been inspected instead of replaced, the organization could have saved the cost of the parts and weeks of work.
Unfortunately, the decision-makers were not aware of this possibility. None of the mechanics who knew the equipment shared this information. They knew it was a costly decision, but no one spoke up, not even my friend. Why?
Most people agree that one of the keys to organizational success is having an engaged workforce.
Over the years, the understanding and terminology around employee engagement has shifted. From employee satisfaction in the 1970’s and 80’s, to employee commitment, then employee engagement, and now sustained engagement.
Despite these changes in understanding, the basic approach is still the same. Use some form of employee survey to gather the opinions and thoughts of your team, develop an action plan to address deficiencies, rinse, and repeat.
Unfortunately, the results have been similarly stagnant. Despite decades of work, employees are still remarkably disengaged. According to a 2013 Gallup poll, only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work.
Why is that?