Have you ever been to the gym and watched someone lift a weight that seemed like an impossible amount for even the Incredible Hulk to lift… let alone the seemingly average-sized guy you’re witnessing with your own eyes?

Would you agree that there was probably a time when he couldn’t lift that amount of weight? If so, then you’d probably also agree that he must have had some strength to start with, right? So then we could surmise that in order to get stronger, you need to have some strength, to begin with.

Guess what? The same can be said about JOY.

I recently recorded this video and wanted to share it with you and to let you know that you CAN enable joy in hard work as well.

Here are some thoughts about joy, hard work, and how leaders can use every moment as an opportunity to build team strength by enabling joy:

The article had this attention-grabbing quote:

“There is something special about things that are inconvenient.”

My first mental reaction, in this quarantine period where much is now ‘inconvenient,’ was sort of …”yea, if you like waiting in the now long lines at the grocery as ‘special’”. But, putting my cynical reaction aside and putting on an asset mindset, I reflected on how this is very true. In athletics, playing well in a particularly challenging situation is special; those are the moments we talk about years later.

The view of work in neoclassical economics as something that people will do only in exchange for money was always crude:

Skilled labor demands effort but also brings joy.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has done remarkable work on a concept called FLOW, and that is why this statement makes sense. I talk about FLOW and joy in depth in Lead the IDEAL Project, but for now, just keep in mind this:

Enabling joy and challenging work actually go hand in hand, but joy and misery do not. We all joke about what ‘builds character’, that what ‘doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ 

In that humor, there’s a thread of truth as we often confuse challenging with miserable. You need to enable joy…by focusing on the connection to team and purpose, equipping your team to create value despite the obstacles and making explicit how their value contributes to the overall success. When you do that, even in the ‘inconvenient.’ you will minimize misery and help your team to recognize the ‘something special.’ 

Let’s continue the conversation, get in touch with us today info@enthusaprove.com. We look forward to hearing from you!


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