A different end-of-year question

Graphic of happy yellow emoji dancing to musical notesIt’s coming up to the end of the year. Which means there must be the obligatory end-of-year article, right?

But let’s look at things a little differently.

I tend to notice (or at least, I try to notice) when I’m hearing the same message from multiple sources – and recently two people whose opinions and ideas I respect have been talking about joy.

Which made me wonder: can management and leadership be fun, can there be joy in the work – instead of so much focus on burnout, toxicity, and so on?

And yes, I know: I’ve been writing about burnout and toxic cultures, so I’m holding myself to this question as well as asking you.

The human brain is wired to seek out problems and be aware of threat. It’s a survival mechanism. After all, the early human who didn’t pay attention to the sabertoothed tiger lurking in the brush didn’t have a chance to pass on their genes; only the ones who worried about what might leap out unexpectedly got to have children and pass on the “stay alert for trouble” gene. Thus, today’s human sees what’s wrong, dangerous, or problematic first and foremost.

And that means we have to be conscious, intentional, and even disciplined about looking for what’s good and right and, yes, fun.

Because if there’s no fun, no joy, in the work we do – whether as managers, leaders, or in some other role – then … what are we doing? And why are we doing it?

So take some time in these last few weeks and days of the year, as difficult and challenging as 2022 has been in many ways, and look for, discover, those moments of fun, joy, gladness, and delight that you experienced, personally as well as professionally.

And if you’d like to share any of them, I would love to hear about it. All my contact information is here.

(I’m saving my thoughts on goals and resolutions for another post – it is, after all, the end of the year – though my perspectives there aren’t entirely mainstream either).

And if you’re curious about what might be possible in for you and / or your company, let’s talk about it. Contact me and we’ll set a time.  We’ll have fun – AND see how fun, joy, and delight can make you and your company more successful.