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Elevator Speech: Part 7 of 9: Have Fun…

January 27, 2012

My elevator speech is made of several components.  Some are original; others borrowed.  John Cimral, who I have worked for in a couple of prior lives and is now the CIO of Cambia Health Solutions, has always had a framed sign on his bookcase:  “Make Money, Have Fun, Be Ethical”.  He believes so strongly in it that it appeared on every slide of internal presentations that he shared with employees at one of his companies.

For nearly two decades every interviewee that John has ever talked with has ended in these words:  “Don’t take this job unless you know it will be fun. Life is too short.”  He believes that people, teams, and entire organizations are driven by passion.

Have you ever taken a job without knowing if it will be fun?  Stayed on when it was way past the point of being fun?

When asked about this being one of the essential ingredients of a successful company John responds by saying that “Having fun is not only about having a party, it speaks to something much more essential:  having a passion for the work, the team, and the people.”

Do you have a passion for what you do?  Does that passion make it fun for yourself?

He goes on to say that “One can only define ‘fun’ for oneself.  Only you know what motivates you every day to get up and make something wonderful happen.  It is all about self-motivation and no organization or leader can give that to you.”

Personally I find “Delivering high quality products on time that delight customers” as being very fun.  I truly enjoy the passion one feels while doing the right things well and the glow that radiates from customers who are delighted.  Coupled with the energy generated by a team that is all pulling on the same rope together, feeding off of each other’s energy, it makes the work interesting and fulfilling.

There have been times over the years where great employees have told me that they were not having fun anymore.  Of course I’ve tried to help diagnose the issue and have done everything possible to see what we both change to make this right.  At the end of the day I always end the discussion by leaving them with this:  “If this doesn’t change for you, please come see me again and tell me.  I won’t try to talk you in to staying—I will help you find a better place that is a better fit for you where you can have fun.  Something that will help your resume vs. hurt it.”  I hate it when a great employee flees an organization just to flee vs. finding a great new home.  Most stayed on was we resolved the issue; we moved on and had great fun together.  A handful of others I ended up keeping my promise to them.

I’m a firm believer in loving your work.  Having fun is a critical ingredient to being successful and nobody can make you have fun.  It either is or it isn’t.

Can you tell that I’m having fun?

John Cimral can be found at @jcimral on Twitter…

 

About this series:  In my very first post I started out by sharing what I call my “elevator speech”.  It is the gestalt of what makes me and the organizations that I have gone on to lead tick:

Deliver high quality solutions on time that are innovative, delight customers, win reviews, and disrupt competitors; all while having fun, being ethical and transforming the business.

My first post in this series dissected “deliver high quality solutions… It covered deliver, high quality, and solutionsMy second went on about a topic that many development managers and teams hate to talk about and that is delivering “on time… The third in the series talked about solutions “that are innovative…” The forth covered one of my favorite components of the above statement and that is to “delight customers…”  This was followed by “that win reviews…” and then by “disrupt competitors…

The next installment will be “while being ethical…”

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