Have Fun at Every Meeting, Vistage Fundamental #14

Have Fun at Every Meeting, Vistage Fundamental #14

Participate in appropriate and respectful humor when we’re together. Demonstrate caring by avoiding sarcastic remarks and ensuring that humor is not at another member’s expense. And find joy in every day.

by Steve Van Valin


Vistage Brandywine Valley
Trusted Advisors 1298


This is Steve Van Valin with Culturology, and I’d like to share this month’s fundamental for the Vistage Brandywine Valley groups, led by our master chair, Jim Lucas. As you know, we have 14 fundamentals composing the Vistage way. Each month, we take a focused look at one of them. This month it’s, last but not least, fundamental number 14, to have fun at every meeting. I wanted to take a more focused look at even this last little expression there about finding the joy in every day.

So, this time of year, Buddy the Elf has probably been on every television set in our area. We know the attitude that he brings to the people around him, this idea of joy, and really change people’s lives in the way they looked at their own experience. There’s an expression the French have for this, it’s called joie de vivre, and here’s how it’s pronounced. Sometimes it takes a romantic language like French to really express this idea of having joy for people, joy for even food, and fellowship, and the experience of life. Joie de vivre. It really does it best, and Buddy expressed that.

So what happens when we bring that to work? When we bring it to Vistage? People want to be around us. We’re compelling to be around. People enjoy that. We bring energy and enthusiasm, a new way of looking at things, which elevates the game of everyone around us.

Some people may have this idea that fun is sort of a frivolous thing, but a frivolous thing at work, a frivolous thing at Vistage. I’m here all for the business. But I want to show you one of the reasons why fun ain’t dumb, and it has to do with these ideas of neurotransmitters, our brain science. When we even smile, think positive thoughts, or laugh, it releases a chemical in our brain.

One of them happens to be dopamine, which is the wanting chemical. It’s about a desire to seek out, search, explore, to be curious, and have motivation to act upon things. Think about how valuable that is in the context of the meetings that we have with each other. How about opioid chemical? It’s about liking, the pleasure, reward, enjoyment, satisfaction for action, taking action on the things that we hear, really seeing how that could play out. Oxytocin, which is the connecting chemical, about bonding, empathy, trust, and love.

All three of these are incredibly valuable, and how does it happen? It happens because we laugh, because we smile, because we enjoy each other’s company. That is so important, and one of the reasons why this idea of joy for life, or joie de vivre is part of one of our fundamentals.

If you know SpongeBob, that character, he has that in spades, right? That’s what he exhibits in every show, as a great even short order chef there at the Krusty Krab.

I just want to challenge ourselves, how can we bring that joy? How can we see the glass as half full and not half empty this year in 2019 so we can kick this fundamental right in the butt and do a great job of being an incredible partner with our friends at Vistage and everyone at back at work so that we’re the positive influence that raises everybody’s game to the next level?

This is Steve Van Valin with Culturology.

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