If a Trip to the Dentist Can Be Fun Surely Work Can Too!
“Outside of euthanasia, I have two options for you,” said my dentist after looking at my deteriorating filling, now turning my tongue into hamburger. “Option 1, a complete overhaul of the tooth, is my favorite,” he said, “because I haven’t covered my rent this month. Option 2, I file off the rough part. It’ll take two minutes and cost hundreds of dollars less. Now what’s your choice?”
I’d learned to expect this from him; he’s like Robin Williams with a surgical mask.
After I chose Option 2, he said, “OK, close your eyes so that you don’t get tooth pieces in them. Just so you aren’t lonely, I’ll close mine too. So if I start filing the wrong tooth, let me know.” By then I was struggling to keep my mouth open while I laughed.
When he was done, he ended with, “Don’t forget to stop in the gift shop on the way out; you know I have to get that rent paid!”
If a trip to the dentist can be fun (at least for me), surely we can all create pleasurable work environments.
I work with many enlightened leaders who genuinely care for their people and do their best to create a positive and supportive environment. I’ve seen many of these leaders get extraordinary results because of this. People like to work for individuals whom they trust, admire and appreciate. But that doesn’t mean a leader can avoid the hard issues!
Some people never respond to a positive work environment. They should work for the post office or the Department of Motor Vehicles. However, most people will seek out a fun and engaging environment.
I worked in a union warehouse while in college, though I never joined the union. It paid well but was a miserable place. There was, however, one supervisor who was a fun, stand-up guy. Without him, I would’ve left much sooner.
Some successful leaders whom I’ve worked with were tough and demanded accountability. But all the great leaders whom I’ve worked with had a sense of humor, cared about their employees, and tried to create a fun, positive environment.
Get results, but lighten up! If my dentist can generate a fun environment, so can you!
Todd coaches CEOs to higher levels of success. He is a former CEO and has led teams as large as 7,000 people. Todd is the author of, Never Kick a Cow Chip On A Hot Day: Real Lessons for Real CEOs and Those Who Want To Be (Morgan James Publishing).