7 Reasons Why Leaders Need to Enjoy Their Work

This is a guest post by Adam Rico. He is a corporate recruiter and career coach. Adam helps people feel fully alive by doing work they love. You can read his blog Work You Enjoy and follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

There’s something your boss probably hasn’t told you.

Odds are they don’t like what they do for a living.

Disengaged Employee

Image by Jason Scragz via Creative Commons

According to a recent Gallup poll, 71% of workers are “disengaged” with their jobs.

This statistic includes all employees, managers, directors, supervisors, CEO’s and anyone who is a leader.

However, imagine if all leaders loved what they do every day.

How might that change an organization?

How might that change the work environment?

How might that change your work and your life?

It can happen.

It starts with you.

If you’re a leader consider the following reasons why you need to be doing something you love in your work.

1. You will be more successful in your career. When you enjoy your work you will create excitement around your brand, your product or your organization. This will allow you to get the results you want from your followers. In turn, this will lead to more success for you.

2. You will be more creative. Have you had those moments when you were working in your flow? When all cylinders were firing in sync? Likely you were in the midst of something you enjoyed doing. When you enjoy your work you can’t help but be more creative in how you lead.

3. You will have more influence. When you love what you do every day and you’re producing results a great thing will happen. People will follow you because they believe in you. They will believe you can lead them to success. You will have the opportunity to influence your followers to move any direction you lead them.

4. You will inspire others to their greatest potential. Enjoyment is contagious. Your followers will have a living example of someone who enjoys their work and they will want that for themselves. As a result, you will attract followers who also love what they do and will perform at a much higher level.

5. You will have more fun. Work doesn’t have to be drudgery every day. In fact, God wants everyone to enjoy their work (Ecc. 5:19). When you enjoy the work you do every day you won’t be able to help but have fun. When you’re having fun with your work you will be able to “play loose” and ultimately be more effective in what you do.

6. You will live on purpose. You and others will know you sought leadership for the sake of the work rather than money, power, or fame. That is a powerful way to live. It’s counter cultural, it’s freeing and it’s intentional.

7. We need you to lead us. We need leaders who enjoy their work and love what they do. We need to witness our leaders working from passion and for pure enjoyment rather than for power or prestige. Those are the people we want to follow.

If you’re in the majority and don’t enjoy your work, please make a change and do work you enjoy. Then lead us.

However, I hope you’re in the minority. I hope you love what you do every day as a leader.

Please show us the way. We want to follow someone who enjoys their work and their life. We’re counting on you.

Question: What would make you more engaged with your work? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

For further reading and to subscribe to Adam’s newsletter you can download his free ebook “5 Essential Steps to Landing Your Dream Job“.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • I am always excited about work that lines up with my passion, strengths and purpose. it actually ends up feeling more like play, than ‘work’. 🙂

    Great post!

    • Absolutely Ngina. I believe we have achieved the highest level of career satisfaction when we can no longer distinguish between our work and our play. I’m so glad to hear you are experiencing that level of success.

      • I am working on it Rico..am not ‘all there’ yet….but am definitely at a much better place, in terms of enjoying what i d 🙂

      • That’s what I hope to accomplish!

        • Keep working toward it Brandon and you will!

    • That’s the best feeling in the world Ngina. It sure helps the days go by quickly!

  • I can see the lack of passion in the managers at our company. There are four total and only one of them enjoys his work. I think it goes against the grain for the other three managers… and it is so true, the employees have caught on to this. They are not excited to follow their managers because they can tell the managers do not want to be there either. Is there anything from an employee standpoint that can be done about this?

    • I’m sorry to hear that Alana. Unfortunately I think that is more common than not. As an employee you really only have control over you. So you can choose how to respond to the leader’s apparent lack of enjoyment. You can also choose to join another team or company. Hopefully those managers will realize their need to make a change in their careers and move into something more enjoyable.

    • Alana, that’s not a fun position to be in. It sounds like there’s tough road ahead with unhappy leaders. Especially as other employees are catching the lack of excitement.

      I agree with Adam’s answer but would like to add one thing. Show excitement in the work that you’re doing for your employer. Do it to your best ability and give it your all. As excitement and enjoyment can be contagious, the management team may catch it as well.

  • Couldn’t agree more. Life is too short to be stuck in a job where you aren’t happy or making a difference. At the same time, every hour of the day isn’t always a bundle of fun. The test I use is to pay attention to my energy levels. What am I doing when I feel enthused? What is happening when I feel drained? Then how can I find a way to be doing more of what energizes me?

    You can make a difference and change the culture you are in, but you can also make a change and join a new culture.

    • I really like the test you use Skip. Yes, we are all energized by different things. I’m so glad there are people who are energized by being a surgeon, doing tax returns, or landscaping a yard. I don’t enjoy any of those things but I need and appreciate people who provide their services for me.

      • Adam, I’m with you–glad we are all different! The three things you mentioned would probably have me dragging within an hour.

    • Thanks for sharing the way you test you use. It’s practical and gives you a way to measure satisfaction and see if a change is needed.

      • Sure–and if nothing gives you energy, check your pulse & head to the ER!

    • Wise words of wisdom!

  • Awesome guest post! Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Brandon for your kind words.

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