Just Wanna Have Fun

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My number one success factor in bidding? Have fun. If you’re not having fun, something’s wrong.

In an average 25-year career, a nine-to-fiver will work more than 40,000 hours. Many bidders will work twice that. It’s a huge chunk of one’s life; a long time not to be having fun.

Of course, ‘fun’ has a measurable scale. It begins with a tiny smile and the quiet satisfaction that comes from doing a job well; it ends with the heart-fluttering elation of knowing that you and your team are absolutely ‘smashing it’.

So, when was the last time you enjoyed your work so much that you could barely wait to get started again the next day? What was the fun element that caused this feeling? I bet it had something to do with the ‘how’ you were working rather than ‘what’ you were doing. Most likely you were playing to your strengths, working with others who were playing to theirs, supporting one another and doing it in a way where you could see yourself and others fly high on success. That’s the ticket to the fun factory.

If people think that fun requires us not to take our work seriously, ask them for their definition of fun. At a personal level, fun is likely to be driven by how we feel. At a team level, it’s through camaraderie and collective success. At a corporate level, it’s by winning good business and delivering it well. When the definitions of fun align, the magic happens.

Discuss fun when you review your annual objectives and performance, your team charters, and governance process. Put it at the heart of what you do. Record the fun level that you experienced each week (0 for misery, 5 for elation), why you scored it so, and what you will do to improve it. Plot this over time, so you can track the upward trend and correct things if the trend dips. See how it compares with others, benchmark it and use it as a conversation starter. “How are things? Are you having fun? How do we have more fun?”

If you’re having fun, you’re getting things right. If you’re not, something’s wrong.

Have fun.

This article was written by Dr Nigel Hudson.

Affectionately known as ‘The Bid Doctor’, Nigel has a doctorate in workplace learning and is BQ’s resident professional development expert. His research was an industry first, exploring how people learn from experience within the bid profession. It builds upon his 25-year career, coaching and leading sales and bid teams, training more than 5,000 people worldwide, winning multiple awards for his bid academies, and – with Jon Williams – creating Europe’s leading proposal training syllabus. A customer and people champion, Nigel’s mantra is: “What does the customer value most, how will we deliver it better than the competition, and if we do this, will we have fun?”

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