There is a direct flight on Southwest Airlines from Omaha to Las Vegas. Every time I’m on this flight, the flight attendants delight me. This crew injects Vegas energy and fun into the flight experience as soon as we push away from the gate. The normal boring announcement is injected with personality. They sign, they joke, they laugh a lot. Without exception, this flight is always the most fun I’m going to have on a flight. I’m not sure if the crew for this flight is specially selected because of their personality or if they are encouraged to have fun or if it just happens because the passengers are in a better than average mood collectively. Whatever it is, the differentiating factor on this flight is fun. The people working the flight are having fun, so I end up having fun.
Where did all the fun go?
Reflecting on this reminded me of a post I wrote earlier this year about an ESPN piece about an Icelandic Soccer team that had crazy (and wildly creative) goal celebrations. When I think about what made this particular soccer team stand out enough to warrant coverage on the biggest sports network in the world, it was because they are so clearly having fun in their work.
So, this brings me to a really important and profoundly depressing question: When did having fun in your work because such a competitive advantage? Whether it’s the Pike Place Fish Market or your local ice cream shop, when we encounter people having fun at work, it’s memorable. Witnessing people having fun and really enjoying their work has a magnetic effect.
Which begs the question, why aren’t more people doing it?