The Boardroom Beat #22 - The F word


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If you think exploring “Fun” is too fluffy for executive coaching, guess again. With startling frequency executives include the fun factor as they contemplate “next.” They have achieved gravitas, solidified their leadership style, mentored a legion of other talent. By conventional mores they have hit the success benchmarks. But a niggling alter ego in their psyche whispers that there is something more. I regularly partner with leaders making middle to late stage career decisions who delve into questions of the heart and of the spirit; “Do I enjoy my role, my life, my contributions?”

Fun Is Fine

Fun is not Frivolous. Research cited in Harvard Business Review* attests that Fun has a positive correlation to engagement, creativity, and purpose — thus increasing employee retention and reducing turnover. Senior leaders are arriving in droves at the realization that life choices are best made with consideration of fun and purposeful impact. At a more ethereal level the pursuit is sustainable joy, but the ability to have Fun is the admission ticket; To a penchant for fun add a helping of purpose and and voilà - you have the recipe for joy.

Pick Your Flavour

Fun is personal. Sometimes I watch an hour of “dumb” TV. When I LOL uproariously at something banal it occurs to me that “I must have really needed that laugh.” What refreshes and restores you? What energizes? What draws a smile? Some ideas….

• See a comedy show/opera/world wresting entertainment match

• Walk instead of uber.

• Dance. Anywhere, anytime.

• Sign up for DuoLingo.

• Oh, and do a DuoLingo lesson. But turn off guilt inducing notifications.

• Have a good laugh.

• Watch a TV show your family used to watch together when you were growing up.

• Indulge in a hobby.

• Hang out with a friend.

• Make an impractical choice.

• Nurture a relationship.

• Road trip. • Stretch.

• Write a letter, the kind that requires a postal stamp.

• Take a Gals or Guys weekend.

• Slip away and see a child you miss in their college or real life setting.

• Volunteer in a kindergarten.

• Try something awkward and new. Yoga? Curling?

• Do something childish. Climb a Tree?

• Reach out to a friend from a time warp ago.

• Make a check on your bucket list.

• Notice a pretty rock/flower/tree/landscape/skyline (you get the idea…notice)

• Read a book not for self-improvement.

• Share a google memory with someone who popped up in the “15 years ago today” photo feed.

• Make a new memory with someone today.

• Add dazzle to a room or self with a thrift shop treasure.

• Go barefoot and feel the earth.

• Plant something.

• Find water and float.

• Do a crossword/puzzle/sudoku

• Volunteer at an animal shelter 

Just Freaking' DO IT

This list is minuscule relative to the plethora of possibilities. Pick one, something, anything. Inertia is the enemy. Fun does not have to cost money; it doesn’t have to take much time.

This article explores “Fun.” An ensuing one will delve into “Purpose.” My observation is that these are inexorably intertwined. The pursuit of Joy and Purpose lead to seismic life shifts. But don’t get overwhelmed by the universe of possibilities. Just choose fun in some simple way today.

a group of people around a desk

Author’s Note: I have an inordinate amount of fun with alliteration. I will write a letter (the kind that requires a stamp) and share this with a formative elementary grammar teacher. (With whom I have nurtured a longstanding relationship.)