The Value of Fun at Work

Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Summary
Transcript

In this backstage interview from Leadercast Live 2019, Ginger Hardage, former senior vice president of culture and communications at Southwest Airlines, shares why leaders should aim to establish a fun-loving atmosphere in the workplace. 

“Fear is a terrible disabler and it lessens what people are able to deliver and do,” says Ginger. “When we have a fun environment, it allows people to be themselves. It allows them to achieve more than they ever thought possible, and they can truly bring themselves to work every day.”

Watch the video to hear from Ginger about the value of fun at work.


TAKEAWAYS
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. 
- Make time for joy in your schedule.
- Fun can be more powerful than fear.

In my 25 years at Southwest Airlines, I left as senior vice president of culture and communications and I focused on, in terms of culture, making sure that the organization, the processes were in place to continue to perpetuate the incredible culture that Southwest was known for and also the communications aspect of the organization.

I learned that, really well at Southwest Airlines about having a fun-loving attitude. The company only has three values. One of them is being fun-loving. And part of that means not taking yourself too seriously. I think sometimes people misunderstand it. It doesn't mean you have to be the best person at the party and telling the jokes, and you can do that in all kinds of ways. Starting with not taking yourself too seriously and having joy breaks during the day and creating an environment where people can really be themselves.

Fear is a terrible disabler and it lessens what people are able to deliver and do. When we have a fun environment, it allows people to be themselves. It allows them to achieve more than they ever thought possible, and they can truly bring themselves to work every day.
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Ginger Hardage

Ginger Hardage recently retired after 25 illustrious years as senior vice president of culture and communications at Southwest Airlines, where she led a team of 150 people responsible for building and sustaining the orga...

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