I understand that WORK is an ugly four letter word to many people. Well maybe I don’t understand. As I write this I am in the Phoenix airport. When passing through security I asked the guy how he is, I do with sincerity, and always listen to the answer. He replied, “You know just working to pay the bills.” I hear this sort of refrain regarding work far too often.

I am in Phoenix for our annual conference. On Thursday we had breakout sessions, one of the ones I attended was ‘Having Fun at Work’ with our Regina partner Dallas. I enjoyed it very much and I am always drilling into my children the life lesson ‘it doesn’t matter what happens in life you are in control of your response.’ and ‘attitude is everything.’ Now take these two things and consider we spend upwards of one third of our adult life at work. Work happens, you can choose to respond to it in any fashion you want. But for me, if I am going to spend that much time on anything I will find a way to enjoy it, and have fun. I know that is a big component to a happy life.

I have been a ‘boss’ for over 20 years. Another four letter word that people tend not to like. One of my early ‘boss’ philosophies was: happy employees equals happy clients equals happy me. Let me break that down a bit: I understood that I am just one cog in the machine that it takes a whole team to make the project a success. Each part has a role to play. I understand that the boss sets the tone and big part of my role as boss was to keep my employees happy. They are on the front lines interacting with my clients, if they are miserable, like that security guard, how does that reflect on me? Will the client have a favourable experience? Obviously, not likely. I am not happy if my client is not happy. So naturally, this boss is very invested in having happy employees. I have many examples of how I succeeded in this goal, I will just share one. Employees of mine would often show up to work on their days off just because they couldn’t think of anything more fun to do. The best part is I have fun too.

I am very happy that I am part of a company that has 9 breakout sessions and devotes one of them
to ‘having fun.’