Adventurers often talk about the 3 Types of Fun.
- Type 1 Fun is fun in the moment, and it’s fun when you reflect on the experience.
- Type 2 Fun is not fun in the moment, but it’s fun when you reflect on the experience.
- Type 3 Fun is not fun in the moment, and it’s not fun when you reflect on the experience. (But Type 3 Fun makes for great stories and plenty of lessons learned.)
The 3 Types of Fun concept applies to your work as well.
- You experience Type 1 Fun through organized activities and spur-of-the-moment exchanges that make people smile, laugh, and enjoy one another’s company.
- You experience Type 2 Fun when you tackle a challenging task or project. True, it’s tough to do at the time, but when you and others reflect on the effort or teamwork required, you experience a sense of pride and find value in reliving the incident.
- You experience Type 3 Fun when you and your team hit tough times, and the best you can do is persevere. These are times when you lose a big customer, have to lay off team members, or struggle through any situation that pushes everyone to their limits, damages team morale, and serves as a sore spot that no one wants to experience again. Type 3 Fun moments are painful to experience and tough to recall, but it’s critical to capture the lessons learned, share them, and work to avoid these situations in the future. By learning from type 3 fun, we can have more type 1 and type 2 fun in the future.
Patrick Leddin, PhD is a speaker, global leadership consultant, and The Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Five-Week Leadership Challenge. Patrick is an Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University with a thriving leadership blog and podcast, and 25-years of leadership experience. He offers an unparalleled mix of academic rigor and real-world experience.