Choose What To Be Serious About

Being Taken Seriously

Every leader wants to be taken seriously. They also want to have a little bit of fun along the way. I mean, who doesn’t want to enjoy the work they do?

Being serious all of the time gets tiresome. You also begin to become a bore. You don’t want that.

Man in a suit jacket looking at a computer and holding his chin

Photo by Bruce Mars

Instead, you need to learn how to choose what to be serious about and how to lead in those times. The great news is, you can do this. You can have serious times and you can have fun times.

Choose What To Be Serious About

Knowing when and where to be serious is the key to having fun while leading. It can also be a struggle to know when to switch on your fun side and when to shut it off.

This is what we’re going to discuss today.

There are times in leadership where you have to be serious. These are the times your organization is depending on you.

You need to be serious when:

  • A major change is happening in the organization: Major changes will always disrupt business. Whether you’re bringing in a new operating officer or switching up payment processes, you need to be serious during times of change. This gives your team a sense of steadfastness in a time of uncertainty.
  • Someone is facing a personal crisis at home: I’m a firm believer your personal life will, and should, intersect with your professional life. You cannot separate the two. People within your organization will face personal crises at home. These will bleed over to their work-life. Be ready to be serious when someone comes to you with a personal issue.
  • A team member is underperforming: Uh oh, it looks like Tim in finance is not performing well. He’s falling behind in his duties and his poor performance is impacting the rest of your organization. It’s time for you to be serious and have a heart-to-heart chat with Tim. You have to be serious when someone’s performance is hindering the performance of the rest of the team.
  • There is gossip circulating around the office: Gossip is a morale drain. Knowing there are people talking about others behind their backs creates a toxic work environment. Stepping up and being a serious leader during this time is what is required of you. Be the leader who steps in and squashes the gossip mill.

There are plenty more times you need to be serious as a leader. Through these examples, you can see the types of situations that demand a stern face and fast action.

Now, there are also times when you need to let loose a little bit. You can have fun as a leader. Here are a few examples of when you can take off the serious face and put on a more relaxed demeanor.

  • When it is someone’s birthday: People love to be recognized. Is there a better day to have fun than their birthday? Find ways to celebrate their special day and bring a little fun to the office.
  • During a major life event: There’s always something happening in your team member’s lives. People are getting married, having children, paying off their home mortgage, adopting a child from foster care, and more. These are major life moments. Much like someone’s birthday, throw a party. Celebrate their life milestones. Show them you care and can have fun!
  • After a major organizational victory: Your team works hard to please the customer and make your organization successful. Why not drop the serious face and put on the fun face when they are successful? You can show your team how happy you are with them when they land the new customer, reacquire a lost customer, or find cost savings.
  • No reason at all: Sometimes we think there has to be a reason to celebrate, have fun, and drop the serious face. I believe there are times where you need to bring fun to the office for no reason at all. You can throw a party, play music, or show an NCAA Final Four basketball game for no reason at all other than to liven up the office. Be willing to set aside your serious side to have fun for no reason at all!

Question: When do you put on and take off the serious face? Let’s discuss this in the comments below.

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