Almost every weekend millions of people voluntarily give of their own time to participate in team sports. Whatever the season, whatever the sport, whatever the level literally millions of us will indulge in often strenuous activity in the name of what we call enjoyment.
There can be few greater pleasures that to strive together with fellow sportspeople to achieve a victory and pursue a passion. It is not about the winning, we are told, it is about the taking part. We encourage our young folk to take up a sport not only for the benefits of exercise or for the character building benefits that being part of a team can bring but also because of the sheer joy that team sports can create.
Being part of a team in pursuit of a single victory or a championship win can be extraordinarily uplifting and life affirming; a constant source of pleasure and meaning at the time and a lifelong well of satisfying memories.
How sad then that come Monday morning many of those self-same people will lower their sights, lower their expectations to trudge into something that they call work, to then give up their time, for which they will be paid, to join with a different bunch of people that they probably do not recognise as a team, and wade through another working day, very little of which they would describe as either uplifting or life affirming. Why should that be and how sad that for so many it should be the case?
What if we could create an environment where our team felt as good about how they spend Monday to Friday as they feel about their weekends? What if we could create the same feelings about work as we do about play. Why, in the twenty-first century should they be so different?
Perhaps the greatest difference we, as leaders, can make to our fellow human beings is to create an environment where we can bring a little joy to work.
I can think of few finer achievements than creating an environment where everyone can be at their best and feel like a valued member of a winning team on an inspiring mission each day and every day. Maybe it was this realisation that caused the 1960s counterculture figure Timothy Leary to say “Businesspeople probably have the greatest potential to transform the world for the better.”
It is a big challenge, are you up for it?