Corporate America frequently banters about the statement, “We work hard, but we also play hard.” However, these days, it all seems to be about work. Every quarter, we hear about how much more efficient and profitable companies are after layoffs and cost cutting. The reality is that many people are now doing multiple jobs, which translates into less time with family and friends.This can’t be the new normal; it’s not sustainable. So, what do you do? I like to look back at leaders who are known for driving cultures that value balance. My favorite? Paul Orfalea, founder of Kinko’s. He believed that balance was core to the organization’s success. He had a three-fold motto that everyone in the company knew:
- Love: care for the customer and your coworkers and you build long-lasting loyalty.
- Work: focus on improving yourself and your work environment and you build a strong business.
- Play: make it fun all the time and take time for friends and family.
Now, I didn’t crack the old company manual, but that is what the words “Love-Work-Play” meant to me after 18 years in that organization. Today, Zappos, winner of a “Best Places to Work” honor this year, demonstrates how to perpetuate a culture that celebrates individuality via company statements such as, “Create Fun and a Little Weirdness,” “Pursue Growth and Learning” and, “Be Humble.”
If your organization does not have a motto, make your own. Define the rules you want to live by. As you begin to live your own creed of balance, you will positively influence others. Put a leadership token on your desk to remind you to talk about your slogan for keeping it fun.
Mine is a pyramid-shaped key chain Paul gave me many years ago that highlights the Love-Work-Play success formula.
What are your words to live by? Share your ideas in the comments!