Over the past few months, I have been serving as an assistant coach for my son’s Little League Football team. It has been a lot of work to teach the boys the techniques of the sport; blocking, tackling, and running. I have found that the best way to teach children is to have fun while learning. The other coaches and I use many different games and exercises that force the boys on the team to use their new found skills and the techniques. Aside from just skill practice, these games and exercises allow us, the coaching staff, to measure their progress.
Many people struggle in the work environment because what they do no longer seems enjoyable, and learning or development just means more work. When this happens, we become stagnant. Our personal satisfaction and happiness decreases and, in turn, our success and quality of work falters. From my perspective, not enough people are making a game out of work. Consider this quote from the world renowned physicist, Albert Einstein.
“How many people are trapped in their everyday habits, part numb, part frightened, part indifferent? To have a better life we must keep choosing how we are living.”
While this quote could have many applications, I would like to discuss how it applies to our daily work. If someone is feeling numb, frightened, or indifferent toward their everyday work activity, leaders or coaches can expect this person to also feel unaccountable to results and lacking desire to achieve greater levels of success.
Since it appears that many people in the working world are feeling numb, frightened, or indifferent toward their daily work, I propose that organizations strive harder to make a game out of work by challenging their employees to compete to win. Like the way I coach the football team, leaders can make work more fun and find ways to use metrics and scorecards to measure progress. With a little fun, leaders can create a winning team that really adds to bottom line results. Leaders themselves must also have a bottom line mentality as they go about setting exciting and stretch goals for themselves, their departments, and for their team members. This inner game of work can make a huge impact on what people accomplish.
So, whether you are coaching 20 eight and nine year old boys on a Little League Football team or leading a tenured staff of employees, the concept I’m suggesting is the same. Make a game out of work; make it fun, rewarding and competitive. I guarantee you will see improved results.