March 2021

The Surprising Dangers of Fun!



As a charity that has fun as part of it’s core ethos, this statement is quite worrying! But before we instantly rush to cut fun out of our lives(!), it’s important to give the statement some context… after all, context is everything (or at least a big part of everything!)

It’s safe to say that not everyone is the same. We’re all difference sizes, shapes, colours, creeds and nationalities. There is a uniqueness to each of us made up of myriad different factors and influences. With this in mind, it’s therefore important to recognise that not all reward-centred leaders are after the same thing – there are lots of motivating factors which influence their behaviours and thinking such as – Status; Wealth; Power; Authority; Attention; Recognition, etc…


Whilst it may appear that the key motivator for reward-centred leaders is pride (or ego) related, it’s much more likely to be something different and unexpected… fun! If we go back in our thinking, you may recall that one of the things that is common with reward-centred leaders is that they tend to avoid certain tasks or responsibilities in favour of doing the things they find to be enjoyable or fun…


And here in lies the truth… doing the things that you find are fun might seem safe enough, but it’s the seemingly harmless nature of ‘fun’ which makes it dangerous.


‘Fun-centred’ leaders aren’t motivated by ego or pride, but rather then things they enjoy doing. This in turn becomes their justification for their actions and behaviours. The reality is that it still creates a vacuum in leadership. Whatever the motivation, whether fun, ego or pride, the key roles of leadership are being avoided and the inevitable problems will follow.

So, what is the right or wrong kind of fun?


Fun is important – we believe so otherwise it wouldn’t be part of our charitable ethos – but it’s important that there is a balance. When it becomes more than re-energising and community building and begins to detract from, or becomes more important than your mission, then it’s too much. When having a laugh or enjoying yourself becomes a priority over doing the challenging things (which is easily done), it’s becoming too much and the seemingly harmless has become dangerous.


Over the next month, I’d like to challenge you to think about where fun fits into your organisation or situation. Do you have a good balance between doing things that you find are fun within your responsibilities and those you don’t, or has it become skewed? Are you having too much fun, or not enough?


If you think there is a problem, what are you going to do about it? How do you find that equilibrium which means you’re doing all you need to do, and being all, you need to be?


If you’ve got any questions or thoughts, I’d love to hear from you and discuss them with you further. You can send them to dan@easttowest.org.uk, alternatively, you can comment on the blog below, by signing up using your Facebook account.


Look forward to hearing from you soon.

Dan

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