Have you ever thought “I can't do many more years of this?”
A very successful CEO confessed exactly this to me recently. Running a complex, fast-growing business was taking its toll. He felt stressed, pressured and isolated. His family relationships were suffering. Although he was charismatic for his team, inside he was miserable.
I see this lack of joy often in my role coaching some of the most successful CEOs. These extraordinarily successful leaders have often lost the joy. They’re striving, grinding it out, getting applause – but secretly they just want to be happy again.
I’ve always had fun in my work. I used to see it as a negative, as something working against “gravitas” and executive presence. But I’ve come to release it’s a superpower of mine and it’s desperately needed in the C-Suite.
In this article I want to offer four reasons why you NEED more fun and enjoyment in your leadership role, and why enjoying the journey is a massive key to your future success.
And in future articles, I’ll offer some practical tips for HOW to achieve this. Do subscribe to the Xquadrant Insider to be kept in the loop!
Have more fun as a leader, and you’ll magnetise your team
Is it fun being led by you?
It’s not a question most leaders ask… but who wants to work for a miserable, stressed leader?
I help CEOs nail their breakthrough goals all the time, and one surprising success factor is your personal magnetism.
Inspire yourself: you’ll inspire your team and bring out their best work.
Moreover, when the talent market is tight, imagine the impact on recruitment and retention if you’re clearly enjoying the journey. You keep high standards and hold everyone accountable, but there’s a fun and spark that inspires people and attracts them to you.
Fun is a true leadership advantage.
Point to ponder: Are your team seeing your sense of fun?
Have more fun as a leader, and you’ll release strategic genius
If you’re stressed and miserable, grinding it out, you’ll be operating from fear and pressure and you’ll not access your very best creativity, inspiration and thinking.
Learn to genuinely have fun and enjoy the process, however, and you’ll be way more creative and inspired. You’ll learn to elevate your thinking and play the long game once again.
Point to ponder: Are you being creative and inspired in your strategic thinking?
Have more fun as a leader, and you’ll be more ambitious and resilient than ever
The more fun you have, the more ambitious and resilient you’ll become.
I see it time and again with my CEO clients. When we start working together they’re not having enough fun, and that drastically limits their ambition.
After all, if you’re secretly stressed or miserable, why would you voluntarily take on even bigger goals? Why commit to solve even more complex challenges if it’s going to take a toll on your health and relationships?
However, the more you’re enjoying yourself, the more you’ll want to go bigger and better – and you’ll weather the storms much easier and be far more resilient when things aren’t going your way. After all, you’re still having fun!
Point to ponder: Does the thought of pursuing 10X bigger goals excite you or daunt you?
Have more fun as a leader, and you’ll create a cultural multiplier
The data is in: fun is a cultural competitive advantage.
In their book Work Made Fun Gets Done, Bob Nelson and Mario Tamayo, found that 81% of employees at companies in the 100 Best Places to Work For index described their office environments as fun. At companies that didn’t make the list, only 62% of employees did the same.
As leader you set the tone of the organisation. If you have fun, your people will pick up on that and start to enjoy themselves too, and you’ll multiply the benefits. They’ll be more committed and creative; they’ll build stronger relationships and be less defensive. And they’ll become bigger believers and advocates for the business, simplifying sales and recruitment.
Point to ponder: Does your team bring a sense of fun and joy to their work?
In conclusion – are you ready to enjoy the journey again?
If you’ve have enough of the stress, isolation, anxiety and pressure, realise these are mindset issues. They don’t exist outside of you; they’re your inner constructions and so you can overcome them.
Even if you have the same stakeholder expectations, the same targets, you can change your internal experience of leadership and find the joy again.
So – are you ready to restore the FUN-damentals (…sorry!) to your leadership?
If you want some help on this, I do recommend you subscribe to our weekly newsletter, the Xquadrant Insider, where this is one of our key themes, or reach out and we can talk about how our different programmes can help you become a more magnetic, joyful leader.