Is This What You Call Fun?

I’ve recently had one of those “ah ha” moments.

I realized why I’ve felt such a strong to connection to the Bulls these past few years – they’re exactly like me, at least, when it comes to work ethic and approach to their jobs.

The Thibs-coached teams were all business. They always came to practice to work hard. They showed up at games and played hard. There wasn’t a lot of funny business. And there definitely didn’t seem to be a lot of fun. As Thibs often liked to say, “DO YOUR JOB.”

Similarly, I have always approached my work in marketing kind of the same way. I’m all business. Conference calls, meetings, deliverables, PowerPoints (in 55 versions), spreadsheets, process documents, more calls.

Lunch? There’s no time for lunch.

Starbucks break? Have you lost your mind? I’ve got to jump on a call and discuss the process before planning the deliverable to submit by the deadline and gain buy-in for the revisions, and then of course, I’ll pivot (and I’m not talking about my pivot foot).

Now does any of that sound fun?

When Bulls management made a coaching change this season, I was hopeful that the Bulls might enjoy their jobs more, and that enjoyment might manifest itself on the court. In last season’s final Bulls Banter, titled “It’s my middle name, and it’s what the Bulls need,” I made the case for Joy.

Coach Fred must have read the blog, as we’ve seen some joy in small doses. Beating the Cavs during the home opener. Joy. Same with the nationally broadcasted Thursday night game versus OKC. Big-time victory, and again, joy.

But OT losses to the Charlotte Hornets and the Minnesota Timberwolves?

The Bulls looked like they were working on one of my PowerPoints, just in super slow motion, and dreading staying all night to work on version 55. They seemed to be sleepwalking, or daydreaming about being anywhere else but engaged in the game.

Everyone is talking about the Bulls and “finding an identity” and Jo mentioned “character” and “intensity” during the post-game interview following last night’s “redemption” victory over those Hornets.

When asked about identity, Pau Gasol said, “Identity: Good question. We’re a team that has a lot of talent. When we play well and play hard and play together we are tough to beat. We try to play up tempo, with pace, flow offensively. But I don’t know if we have any identity, per se, where you can label it. I don’t know if anyone has. I’d be interested in hearing it.”

Jo responded, “Just got to keep working. The only way we are going to find a true identity is to give 100 percent effort and then we’ll see.”

So it seems as if the Bulls, and their faithful fan and blogger, Cinjo all need to find the joy.

One can find the joy in doing the work. However, we could likely benefit from having some fun along the way – kind of the Nate Robinson effect. After all, if we have to spend all of this time “at the office,” we might as well be enthusiastic – whether playing on the floor of the UC, or PowerPointing in a cubicle.

See Red! Go Bulls! Beat the Pacers.

[Credit for the Pau and Jo quotes: Sam Smith, from his blog, “Bulls get even with Hornets in 102-97 victory”]

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