Newsletter #40: Management Should Be Fun

Andrew Weaver
February 15, 2021

Happy Saturday

Slight delay in releasing this weeks ‘5 Minute Tech Break’.  

Distractions abounded yesterday at CTO Academy HQ not least, the start of the rugby World Cup in Japan.

This week we look at how management should be fun, though humour has to be managed carefully for it to be effective. We’ve dedicated this weeks ‘5 minute tech break’ to the topic of fun, so I hope you enjoy.

Meanwhile I’m off in search of some laughter and to watch Englands opening world cup match, hoping they don’t overlap!

Andrew Weaver
CTO Academy
[email protected]

Don’t Try To Be The Fun Boss

Research from HBR indicates that key personality characteristics predict unethical leadership behavior. 

They collected personality data and supervisor ratings of ethical behavior (e.g., integrity, accountability) on 3,500 leaders across 30 organizations and establish certain behaviours establish trust with teams and the public;

1. Be humble, not charismatic
2. Be steady and dependable
3. Modesty is the best policy
4. Balance analysis with action
5. Be vigilant, vulnerability builds over time.“Don’t try to be the fun boss” is an article that emerged from this research.

On the other hand … anyone familiar with TV series The Office, might take a different view to the use of “laughter in the workplace”.

On the other hand …

The problem with all these academics and their research, one day you can eat flaxseed bread with madagascan poppy seeds, the next day you can’t.

So having taken on board the need the august recommendations from the Harvard Business Review to be humble, I subsequently stumble across why workplace humour is the secret to great leadership.

Not sure I know which way to turn now. Perhaps, we just need to be ourselves ….

So What Stops It Being Fun?

Nothing worse than when you can see and feel your team starting to lose morale.

Maybe some projects have gone badly, great people leaving, terrible people staying, cultural issues going awry. Clearly lots of reasons why management becomes less fun, not least when you have to break bad news to someone.

If you find team morale on the slide, here’s a quick fire list with 20 creative ways to boost employee morale and none of them suggest …. increasing their money!


Forthcoming Webinar

CTO Academy will be hosting a webinar looking at various tech management issues.

Next week Jason and I will be walking through the 9 topics (based on our full membership courses) we believe are important to master to become a highly effective CTO or tech leader.

We will talk about the thinking behind why we selected these topics and we’d love you to join us and if you have any questions, get involved in the live debate.

Webinar : “9 Topics You Need To Master To Become A Highly Effective CTO”
Date : Tuesday 24th September 2019
Time : Midday (BST)
Hosts : Jason Noble, Andrew Weaver

“Bullshit Jobs

Of course, some jobs don’t lend themselves to huge amounts of fun.

Some of them might be included in the book called, Bullshit Jobs.

The author argues the existence and societal harm of meaningless jobs contending that >50% of societal work is pointless, which becomes psychologically destructive when paired with a work ethic that associates work with self-worth.

He describes five types of bullshit jobs, in which workers pretend their role isn’t as pointless or harmful as they know it to be: flunkies, goons, duct tapers, box tickers, and taskmasters and proposes universal basic income as a potential solution.


Quote of the week 

“The Only Way To Do Great Work, Is To Love What You Do” – Steve Jobs

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