Nebula Leadership lessons: Why having fun is important to growing a company

In 1973, a famous television actor bought a baseball club. He took this club to places no one thought possible, he helped the team grow and climb up leagues. This man was Bing Russel, and he had one secret to growing a team with a low budget and very few supporters. He lived his life by a three-letter word, “fun”. He said if you were not having fun in life then what was the point. He took this mantra into the world of baseball by creating a team that was playing for the love of the game, rather than for money.

While we look at this, it may seem like a nice story, but in actual fact it is a crucial step to keep and grow a company. As a leader, the responsibility lies on you to grow your team and to reach your targets. To do this, you need the best people, and while many will look to buy their way to the top, it has been shown to be ineffective. Here’s why:

  • Money does not lead to loyalty – if you draw someone to work for you because of the money, they can leave just as easily for more money.
  • Money cannot create passion – passion is what drives a company to new heights, but this drive cannot be bought.
  • You could run out of money – if you lure someone with money when the money is less they will surely leave.

Why you need fun!

Fun is an amalgamation of feelings that fills people with a sense of euphoria and contentment. The feelings include belonging, being needed, a sense of achievement and passion. These feelings are what makes good companies great, and allow large companies to keep growing. Why? Because they keep having fun and make having fun a priority.

By creating a team and an environment that makes work fun, you create an environment where people want to be. When your team want to be at work, they create and innovate. This all leads to a bigger company that grows consistently.

How to Create Fun?

So the real question is how do you create fun? How do you build a fun environment? There are a number of steps you can take to create and lead a fun team, here are a few:

  • Define a Victory – Defining your goals and victories in a clear, easy to understand way is crucial for growing a fun team. When you know what you are working towards, it makes the celebrations better.
  • Celebrate Victories – when you reach a victory, no matter how small, celebrate it! Celebrate your victories and milestones as a team. There is nothing that motivates as much as a victory! Just watch an F1 race to see it in action. It takes a team to win, so celebrate as a team when you win.
  • Be Inclusive – Being needed and belonging are two human emotions that we need to feel to feel safe. Be inclusive and have your team work together as much as possible, eliminate communication barriers and communicate freely. This leads to a sense of belonging.
  • Lose Together – While winning is the aim, sometimes you will lose. While it may seem easy to point fingers or get upset. Rather lose together, debrief and start working towards your next victory.

While many people can buy a team or try to buy a victory, building a team that wants to win and has fin doing it is way more valuable.

As Richard Branson says, “Train people so they can leave, treat them so well that they don’t want to”.

Sourced from: Nebula. View the original article here.