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Episode 9: Should failing boldly be a core value?

In this episode of How Peo­ple Work, Jor­dan and Jason dis­cuss lead­er­ship, the gam­i­fi­ca­tion of work, and the impor­tance of cel­e­brat­ing the small wins at work.

As a leader, it’s impor­tant to rec­og­nize that fail­ure is not the end of the world — it’s actu­al­ly an essen­tial part of the learn­ing process. By giv­ing your employ­ees room to fail, you’re encour­ag­ing them to take risks and explore new ideas, which can ulti­mate­ly lead to inno­v­a­tive solu­tions and increased pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. When employ­ees feel free to take risks with­out fear of pun­ish­ment, they’re more like­ly to exper­i­ment and come up with cre­ative solu­tions that can ben­e­fit the entire team.

Gam­i­fy­ing work can mean using game-like ele­ments such as points, rewards, and com­pe­ti­tion to moti­vate employ­ees and improve per­for­mance. When work organ­i­cal­ly feels more like a game than a chore, employ­ees are more like­ly to be moti­vat­ed and invest­ed in their tasks. Addi­tion­al­ly, gam­i­fi­ca­tion can fos­ter a sense of friend­ly com­pe­ti­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion among team mem­bers, lead­ing to increased com­mu­ni­ca­tion and teamwork.

Jor­dan and Jason also dis­cuss why cel­e­brat­ing small wins is an essen­tial com­po­nent of build­ing a pos­i­tive and pro­duc­tive work­place cul­ture. When employ­ees are rec­og­nized for their achieve­ments — no mat­ter how small — it can lead to increased moti­va­tion and a sense of accom­plish­ment. By acknowl­edg­ing and cel­e­brat­ing the small wins along the way, you’re rein­forc­ing the idea that every con­tri­bu­tion mat­ters and that progress is being made towards larg­er goals.

Now avail­able on: YouTube | Apple Pod­casts | Spo­ti­fy

Key ideas and highlights

  • The impor­tance of giv­ing your employ­ees room to fail and why it’s one of Fringe’s core values
  • How gam­i­fy­ing work can help your team win and make even the mun­dane tasks enjoyable
  • Cel­e­brat­ing the small wins, or even the ​“not loss­es” is essen­tial to a pos­i­tive work­place culture

Word of the day

  • Recuse — said @ 27:50 ✅


  • 0:00 Intro
  • 4:50 What we can learn from chil­dren about play
  • 6:20 Why being will­ing to fail bold­ly should be a part of your com­pa­ny values
  • 9:36 Why being will­ing to fail is a key way to approach life
  • 10:56 Why you must give your peo­ple the free­dom to fail
  • 12:36 How to cel­e­brate the wins that are often overlooked
  • 16:15 How your def­i­n­i­tion of wins defines your com­pa­ny culture
  • 18:02 Gam­i­fy­ing work helps your team win
  • 19:24 How gam­i­fy­ing work can make mun­dane tasks interesting
  • 25:45 Why we have to go back to child­hood ten­den­cies of play and work

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How Fringe works:


Jor­dan (00:05):

How many hours and years of our lives do we spend on work? For near­ly all of us, we spend 30 plus years and one third of our days in our voca­tion, more time per­haps than we spend at rest or at play. But this isn’t a prob­lem. Why? Because work is good. Work needs to be inte­grat­ed deeply into our lives and must be in line with our most impor­tant goals and val­ues. And if it is, we have a far more com­plete and ful­fill­ing life expe­ri­ence. Wel­come to the How Peo­ple Work pod­cast, where we explore the inter­sec­tion of how humans think and act and how they apply them­selves to their work. When you under­stand both of these things, you’ll be equipped to be insight­ful, com­pas­sion­ate, and com­pelling leaders.


Wel­come back to How Peo­ple Work. Let’s jump in. We — last week, we talked about work as play. Jason and I talked a lit­tle bit about our child­hood, some games that we played, some dreams that we had about the future. What did we want to do when we grew up? Start­ed to jump into this notion of how do we trans­late child­hood play, board games, video games, sports, what­ev­er the thing is into how we work, how we work today as adults, and how we take some of that dri­ve and that com­pe­ti­tion and that will to win and bring it into the work­place and bring it into our adult lives and what we spend 8, 9, 10 hours a day doing now. So here we are back — how we work, Jor­dan Peace, Jason Mur­ray. And we’re going to jump right into this top­ic. So Jason, I guess the ques­tion we want to ask to kick things off is are there exam­ples that you’ve seen in the work­place, in your own per­son­al work­place, in the work­place of your peers or peo­ple that have told you about cer­tain things that they’ve done that have brought play into work? And then I think from there we just explore what are the out­comes of that? Yeah, what comes to mind when you think about this ques­tion of bring­ing play into work?

Jason (02:18):

Well, there’s a cou­ple things that come to mind. One thing that comes to mind imme­di­ate­ly is I think there’s a cheap ver­sion of play at work that we prob­a­bly want to avoid, which is, let’s do piz­za par­ties. Let’s impose fun with air quotes here onto the work that maybe itself isn’t actu­al­ly fun, but we’re just going to try and dress it up as fun and kind of rah rah. And maybe it just isn’t, it’s you’re in a bad job. You work at a bad com­pa­ny, there’s just not any way to real­ly recov­er that.

Jor­dan (02:59):

No amount of piz­za is going to solve the problem.

Jason (03:01):

Yeah, exact­ly. Right. In fact, too much piz­za is not a good thing.

Jor­dan (03:06):

It’s going to add to the problem.

Jason (03:06):

It’s going to add to the prob­lem. So that comes to mind right away where it can’t be arti­fi­cial, I guess is what I’m say­ing. And then on the flip side of that is real­ly try­ing to draw out, well, what is it with­in play itself? And maybe we’ll go back a lit­tle bit to some of the analo­gies of what it felt like when we were kids, but what is it with­in play itself that we can maybe draw out as prin­ci­ples or val­ues that we could then say, well, these things that are true about play, that makes play fun and mean­ing­ful and feel valu­able. Can we take those then and apply them to how we think about our work? How we design our work, both as indi­vid­u­als, like how I go about my work day to day. And then also for orga­ni­za­tions, how we think about set­ting up the work or set­ting up teams. And so I guess as you think about it, maybe from your child­hood or maybe with your own kids, because we both have kids that we play with, are there maybe val­ues that come to mind or sort of prin­ci­ples that come to mind that you think are sort of ori­ent­ing or uni­fy­ing prin­ci­ples around the play?

Jor­dan (04:23):

Yeah, I was think­ing about when you were talk­ing about play with my kids, and we play in all sorts of ways. It might be a board game, it might be a video game, but it might be some­thing we just made up on the spot. We got a tram­po­line for Christ­mas. Since then we’ve come up, I mean, I’m not exag­ger­at­ing with 11 or 12 dif­fer­ent games that we’ve invent­ed on the tram­po­line. Just dif­fer­ent things that you can play based on where you stand or where you jump or who falls down or who gets opened, the crack the egg type of stuff. And there’s a bunch of kick balls on the tram­po­line and just bas­ket­ball hoops and there’s all sorts of stuff. And one thing that I notice about kids that I don’t see from adults so much in a work con­text is they just jump in.


They don’t think ahead of time, is this a game that I am best suit­ed for? And am I like­ly to be the win­ner? They go, that sounds fun. I’m in. And then they lose. And then some­times they cry. Some­times they cry over los­ing and they cel­e­brate over win­ning. And maybe they cel­e­brate a lit­tle bit too big over win­ning, which makes the oth­er one cry or what­ev­er. There’s issues once the game is played and some­body wins and some­body los­es and that’s hard. But what I see from adults is so much worse than cry­ing over los­ing. It’s an unwill­ing­ness to play the game because I might lose. Right? That’s the dif­fer­ence in the work con­text. And I think that what we’ve built in so many cor­po­ra­tions is this par­a­digm where I’m just not going to play. If there’s a chance I’m going to lose because if I lose and peo­ple know that I lost and the loss gets pinned on me, then that might mean that I’m not able to advance. I’m not able to be seen in the light that I want to see. I’m not able to get the pro­mo­tion. What­ev­er the case may be. And so we just don’t play. And actu­al­ly until lit­er­al­ly this moment in this con­ver­sa­tion, I don’t think I con­nect­ed the dots as to why it was so impor­tant to me when we were writ­ing the values.

Jason (06:30):

I was just going to bring that up.

Jor­dan (06:31):

We were writ­ing the val­ues for Fringe and the val­ues, and one of the descrip­tions of the val­ues about act­ing with courage is we will lose and learn from it. We’ll fail bold­ly, right? And these ideas are just, and I can tell when we hire new peo­ple and I read these things to them and I share these things with them, they’re just like, are you sure you mean that? I’ve nev­er been allowed to lose before. I’ve nev­er been allowed to fail before. That’s always been seen as a bad thing. Right? Let’s fig­ure out how not to lose next time is the most pos­i­tive reac­tion that they could pos­si­bly receive from their los­ing as opposed to praise for you gave it all you had, you had a great idea, you put your­self out there, you took a risk, it did­n’t work. But good for you.


That reac­tion is so free­ing. And that’s what I tell my kids. Yeah, that’s what I tell ​‘em. You gave it all you had. You hus­tled, you trie,d your broth­er that’s two or three years old­er than you. He’s big­ger. Yeah, he’s stronger. He’s faster. That’s not your fault, right? You did great. You played great. And it’s not so much focus on the win­ning. The focus was win­ning in the game, but it was okay to lose. And it’s just inter­est­ing that that’s just not a thing in almost any orga­ni­za­tion. There’s just no room for play­ing the game if there’s any chance that we’re going to lose.

Jason (08:02):

Well, what I like about that is you would­n’t encour­age reck­less­ness from your chil­dren, but you would encour­age try­ing new things, right? And so I think that’s a delin­eation that we’re mak­ing. Cause I could imag­ine some­one hav­ing an objec­tion say­ing, well, it does­n’t make sense just to go fail bold­ly at any­thin­gAnd that’s not what you’re saying.

Jor­dan (08:25):

The goal isn’t to fail.

Jason (08:26):

Right. Well, and just go to the exam­ple of the game on the tram­po­line. It’s like we have some sense of, well, what the para­me­ters of the game may be, even if we don’t know the total­i­ty of it or how it’s going to go or how good I’m going to be at it. But it’s like I under­stand some­thing about it and I’m will­ing to try, under­stand­ing that there’s kind of a win-loss thing that might hap­pen here. And I think it’s inter­est­ing what you brought up talk­ing to can­di­dates and the hir­ing process and things like that. And we talked about sports and the last episode is kind of a good anal­o­gy. And I feel like that fits here because what sports teach you as a game is that you will win and you will lose. And so the whole idea, I’ve kind of resist­ed with my own kids that, oh, every­body wins. There’s a par­tic­i­pa­tion tro­phy. I frankly hate that because it’s not how life goes. You don’t get a par­tic­i­pa­tion tro­phy in life. I mean, life just smacks you down some­times. And so you lose. Yeah. And some­times it’s not even your own fault, they just go get your teeth kicked in by some­times crap­py stuff.

Jor­dan (09:32):

Some­times the oth­er kid’s just big­ger or stronger or a bet­ter shooter.

Jason (09:36):

Or the cir­cum­stances of your life, or some­times just get dealt a bad hand in cards, which is a game and applies to life and it’s like, hey, you just can’t win all the time. It’s learn­ing through those expe­ri­ences, how to approach life. I think you men­tioned resilien­cy last time. So I mean, there’s a cou­ple things there that I think come out sense of resilien­cy, being will­ing to fail, know­ing that you’re not going to win every time.

Jor­dan (10:05):

We talk, I imag­ine our audi­ence, I mean, we know a lit­tle bit about our audi­ence. There’s a lot of peo­ple that lead peo­ple, a lot of peo­ple that they’re either peo­ple lead­ers direct­ly or they’re exec­u­tives or what­ev­er. And what I would say to them is that this whole con­cept of work as play is not going to work for you. You could take every oth­er piece of advice that we give or ideas that we have or things that we do per­son­al­ly, and you could throw it right in the trash if you’re not going to give your peo­ple the free­dom to fail because they will not play.

Jason (10:41):

Right. It’ll nev­er feel like play.

Jor­dan (10:42):

They’ll pre­tend to play. They’ll act like they’re going to play. They’ll tell you they’re going to play, they won’t play.

Jason (10:47):

Right. Or they’ll play only a game that they think they can win, which won’t be fun.

Jor­dan (10:52):

Which is not the game that’s going to help your busi­ness win. That’s not the game, espe­cial­ly right now in a reces­sion and what we’re going through. You can’t just be sta­tus quo. You can’t just do what’s always worked. You got to be cre­ative. You got to be inno­v­a­tive. Yeah. You got to try new things. And you must, unless you’re just the most bril­liant per­son that ever lived on the face of the earth, you must fail in order to learn, in order to refine, in order to get bet­ter at the new thing that you’re doing that maybe no one else has ever done, or no one else that has ever done. Right. You don’t have the infor­ma­tion, you don’t have best prac­tices, you don’t know for sure. And if you don’t give your peo­ple the free­dom to explore that space and to poten­tial­ly, and I’m not say­ing they will fail, but give them the free­dom to fail. They real­ly can’t win in any sort of way that is sig­nif­i­cant enough to be sat­is­fy­ing to them and real­ly do any­thing for you and for your business.

Jason (11:52):

Yeah. Yeah. Well, there’s some­thing there too. I was just think­ing about — there’s some roles it seems at com­pa­nies where it kind of feels like the only thing that could hap­pen to some­body is for them to lose. The way that their work is set up. I feel like I don’t know. I think about peo­ple who work in maybe cus­tomer ser­vice type roles where it’s just like, man, the ham­mer of the com­pa­ny is just like, well, don’t screw it up. And there’s not, like, unless it’s done with inten­tion­al­i­ty, it would seem maybe that like, well, there’s not a game even to be played where there is win­ning because there’s no aim oth­er than don’t screw it up. And that’s not very -

Jor­dan (12:33):Just don’t make any­body mad. Yeah.

Jason (12:35):

That’s not very fun. It’s not exciting.

Jor­dan (12:36):

Just don’t get any com­plaints out there. Yeah. Yeah. And it’s just not, but it’s not true. It’s all about what you rec­og­nize. So I think about our own Fringe, we think about our own com­pa­ny and how often when we have our Fri­day after­noon meet­ings our ​“what’s going on” meet­ings, how often do we take, whether it’s some­thing that Sheri did or some­thing that Cyn­thia did or some­body on our team that’s in cus­tomer ser­vice that we have, obvi­ous­ly the copy from our con­ver­sa­tions that we have with our users and that they just praised some of the peo­ple on our CS team that just said, wow, I got great ser­vice. I was so pleased that the reac­tion time was fast. They solved my prob­lem for me. And yeah, you could look at it as a, well, good, all you real­ly accom­plished was not screw­ing up. You could look at it from that stand­point of it’s los­ing or nothing.


But that’s a win. And one of the things, and we’re not a per­fect com­pa­ny and we don’t do every­thing per­fect­ly, but one of the things that I think that we’ve done well over the course of time is that we’ve tak­en jobs like that where it’s easy to think of the job — HR is anoth­er job in that cat­e­go­ry — where it’s easy to think of the job as los­ing or neu­tral. There is no win­ning, right? But you can find a way to think to find wins, you know, you can define the wins and then cel­e­brate those wins, right? And that just gives so much mean­ing to the job.

Jason (14:10):

Well, and I think that comes back to some­thing we’ve talked about that’s been kind of a thread through­out, which I think is what are you aim­ing for? And so if the com­pa­ny’s aim, say, is pure­ly prof­it dri­ven, well then the only thing that cus­tomer ser­vice is going to do is poten­tial­ly lose you mon­ey. Right? Maybe save mon­ey. But a lot of com­pa­nies that have that kind of mind­set don’t think of it that way.

Jor­dan (14:34):Or all HR is going to do is spend mon­ey on peo­ple and ben­e­fits and this, it’s just spend­ing, it’s just a cost cen­ter. As peo­ple like to refer to it as.

Jason (14:42):

Yeah, exact­ly. I mean, that’s a very great exam­ple. And so if you reframe it where the aim is, say the human expe­ri­ence in those inter­ac­tions and cre­at­ing the most pos­i­tive human expe­ri­ence that you can, well, when you apply that to cus­tomer ser­vice, now all of a sud­den that changes the frame­work that you are fil­ter­ing it through or apply that to HR and peo­ple teams. Again, it changes the frame­work and then all the research that peo­ple have done on that kind of stuff shows that when you do that with­in say cus­tomer ser­vice func­tions, that actu­al­ly deliv­ers bet­ter results for the busi­ness to begin with. And so I think points to the fact that we ought to have a dif­fer­ent way of going about think­ing about design­ing for a human expe­ri­ence ver­sus say just a busi­ness need or busi­ness out­come in and of itself.

Jor­dan (15:25):

Yeah. Yeah, absolute­ly. I think regard­less of what the func­tion is in your orga­ni­za­tion, you’ve got to find a way to point peo­ple towards what win­ning is. I mean, that’s what we’re talk­ing about today. We’re talk­ing about how do you bring ele­ments of play into work. The core ele­ment of play is a clear def­i­n­i­tion of win­ning. You know, you have to know, we talked about it in the last episode. You have to be able to pull out that instruc­tion man­u­al and flip to how to win sec­tion. And it’s the first thing you read is how to win. So you can­not tell any­body in your orga­ni­za­tion, I don’t care if they’re on your legal team or your finance team or your cus­tomer ser­vice team or your HR team, and all the places that we see as play­ing defense. You have to show them. You have to show them what offense looks like.


You have to show them what a win is and define that for them. And sure, play­ing defense is win­ning too, right? Pre­vent­ing things. But we have to cel­e­brate those things. You can’t just go, oh, well, thanks HR, nobody sued us in the last quar­ter and not men­tion that. You have to men­tion that. You have to talk about how what­ev­er it is you’re try­ing to avoid, whether it’s cyber­se­cu­ri­ty or what­ev­er the thing is that’s going on in your com­pa­ny, you have to cel­e­brate the not loss­es and cel­e­brate the wins. And that’s what keeps peo­ple moti­vat­ed. That’s what keeps peo­ple inter­est­ed in feel­ing like I helped the com­pa­ny, I helped us win. If you don’t con­nect peo­ple to their func­tion actu­al­ly helps the com­pa­ny achieve its ulti­mate goal. Right? Then why would they stick around? Why would they take an inter­est? Why would this be some­thing that would seep into the core of their being and what they think about and what they want to achieve in life? If it’s just a job, if it just do these tasks, get a pay­check, go home. So what? They’re going to be much more inter­est­ed in the play in their lives, right? Which may be the sports team they fol­low or what­ev­er, and that’s fine. But if you want them to real­ly be their mind to be set on the work and the com­pa­ny and achiev­ing suc­cess togeth­er, they’ve got to feel those play ele­ments. They got to feel like they’re win­ning. Yeah.

Jason (17:46):

Well, I think what’s nice about that, that can kind of exist at all lev­els of rela­tion­ship, if you will. So for me as an indi­vid­ual, I can design or gam­i­fy my work even. And we talked a lit­tle bit in the last episode about flow. I’ve been read­ing a book by the author who orig­i­nat­ed, or the psy­chol­o­gist who orig­i­nat­ed the con­cept and has done all the research around flow. And he found that even work­ers in man­u­fac­tur­ing plants doing what you might con­sid­er to be very mun­dane and repet­i­tive tasks could actu­al­ly expe­ri­ence flow. And some of the ways in which they did that is they would gam­i­fy their expe­ri­ences. Some­body you had a job that might have been very mun­dane and repet­i­tive. There is a par­tic­u­lar guy he talked about who he had to replace a par­tic­u­lar screw on a piece of equip­ment that was com­ing down a man­u­fac­tur­ing line, but he just turned it into a game where it was like, well, how fast can I get it this?


And how effi­cient can I make it? And so on and so forth. And so that lit­tle game in and of itself brought some sem­blance of pur­pose to the work itself that gave it a lit­tle bit more mean­ing. And that’s real­ly small kind of micro­cosm. But then you can start to extrap­o­late that to oth­er things to say, well, at a team lev­el, how are we doing this as a team? What are we agree­ing upon togeth­er? Is the game that we’re play­ing to uni­fy the task or the pur­pose that we’re work­ing towards? And then as a com­pa­ny, and then you could even take that to as a fam­i­ly, as a com­mu­ni­ty, as a soci­ety, it kind of works at all lev­els there.

Jor­dan (19:24):

Yeah, it reminds me of in col­lege, and I come home from col­lege and I used to work for my uncle’s brick com­pa­ny here in Rich­mond and just worked as a labor­er. I did­n’t have any par­tic­u­lar skills. I did­n’t know how to lay brick or stone or block or any­thing like that, but I could mix mor­tar and car­ry bricks, climb a scaf­fold and what­ev­er. And I remem­ber so many times where the day would start, with just brick lay­er A and brick lay­er B, and they’re lay­ing two sides of a wall. But over the course of the day, they’re sit­ting back, they’re look­ing and how high that guy’s got­ten on the wall ver­sus that guy’s got­ten on the wall, you’re sit­ting there at your lunch break, they’re check­ing, and now they start talk­ing about it. Peo­ple start talk­ing about it. By the end of the day, it is a full out competition.


There’s cheer­ing, there’s peo­ple tak­ing bets, it’s become a thing. The play gave the mun­dane work of just lay bricks from the floor to the ceil­ing became some­thing incred­i­bly fun, right? And you would pick teams, and I might help this guy a lit­tle bit more and I’d mix his mor­tar and make sure it was nice and nice con­sis­ten­cy a lit­tle bit more than that guy, because I had a bet on this guy, what­ev­er the case may be. And we turn any­thing into a game if we can help it, because it gives it more mean­ing, what­ev­er the thing is, it makes it more fun. It’s com­mu­nal, it brings oth­ers into it. There’s cheer­ing involved. It’s just, you know what I mean? It does­n’t mat­ter what the thing is. And I feel like some­times in this cor­po­rate white col­lar kind of but­toned up weird soft­ware com­pa­ny expe­ri­ence is like, we just for­get to do that.


We for­get to have fun with that. Yeah. We for­get to see that the work that we’re doing could be so enhanced by hav­ing fun with it and bring­ing that game ele­ment into it. And as lead­ers, hon­est­ly, we just need to do a bet­ter job of it. We just need to bring that to the table in an authen­tic way, not in a just, ah, we’re going to have this cheesy com­pe­ti­tion because we want to moti­vate every­body to work, moti­vate every­body to work hard­er so that the exec­u­tives make more mon­ey. I feel like that’s kind of the fear. That’s kind of the issue. And that’s the thought that peo­ple have is like, ah, anoth­er cheesy com­pe­ti­tion. But if it’s an innate part of your cul­ture that you gam­i­fy the work expe­ri­ence and you play and you win togeth­er, and sure you com­pete against each oth­er some­times, but a lot of times it’s coop­er­a­tive at the same time.

Jason (22:15):

But it just sort of happens.

Jor­dan (22:16):

Yeah. It just, but if it’s part of your cul­ture, it hap­pens and it’s okay that it hap­pens and it becomes real­ly fun.

Jason (22:22):

Well, and it has to be some­thing that it feels like it has to be some­thing. Any­ways, that’s kind of bot­tom up. Some­thing about the sto­ry you shared about the guys lay­ing bricks and stuff like that. Could you imag­ine that same sce­nario if the boss in the cor­po­rate office came out and was like, Hey, what we’re going to do today is have a brick­lay­ing com­pe­ti­tion and I’m going to need you guys to work real hard and you’re going to compete.

Jor­dan (22:45):

The eyes roll back immediately.

Jason (22:46):

Just be like, what­ev­er. We’re going to build the short­est walls you’ve ever seen.

Jor­dan (22:50):

Right, exact­ly.

Jason (22:51):

But because it just kind of hap­pened organ­i­cal­ly. I mean, who knows, maybe those guys went home and were like, Hey man, this is the best day of work I had in a years. Who knows, right? So I think that that’s cool. Some­thing else that came to mind as you’re talk­ing about that was the sense of learn­ing, being a part of the expe­ri­ence of play. And so when we’re learn­ing a new game, or even, you know, you talk­ing about the guys lay­ing bricks just brought my dad to mind because he was kind of a blue col­lar work­er, a line­man for a lot of his career after he let the mil­i­tary in. One of the things that always struck me about him and his work was he was always learn­ing some­thing new. He went from just being a guy walk­ing around the street, read­ing the meters to becom­ing a line­man and learn­ing all this stuff about how the grid works and repair­ing trans­form­ers and climb­ing the poles and all that kind of stuff.


And when he’d come over for din­ner, we’d ask him, how’s work going? Or what­ev­er. And he’d tell me all kinds of stuff I did­n’t under­stand about how the poles worked and how you need to con­nect this and that, and why the pow­er went out over there in that neigh­bor­hood and all kinds of stuff. And it was just real­ly inter­est­ing to him and I think was part of what actu­al­ly made the work enjoy­able was that kind of aspect of learn­ing that comes into it. And I think I find that to be true for myself. I’m most engaged and find things to be most enjoy­able when I’m learn­ing, when there’s some, a new expe­ri­ence that’s part of what’s tak­ing place.

Jor­dan (24:26):

I think that’s so true. And when — I noticed when we are in a peri­od of some sort of stress or some sort of immi­nent thing that we’ve got to achieve or avoid or what­ev­er, we get so much more cre­ative. And that’s what games do. Games cre­ate a, not dis­tress, but a cer­tain amount of stress on you to think, how do I win? How do I do this in a cer­tain amount of time?

Jason (24:54):

It dri­ves cre­ativ­i­ty, prob­lem solving.

Jor­dan (24:56):

Solv­ing. And you learn a lot faster as a result of that because when you’re think­ing cre­ative­ly and you’re think­ing in a lit­tle bit of a sense of des­per­a­tion of just like, how do I do this and how do I get it done and quick­ly and how do I win? Or what­ev­er. You’re not — all that stuff about, I want to keep my head down and not be the tall pop­py and not be seen, and not — all that goes out the win­dow. And you’re just think­ing more like a kid. You’re think­ing more of just like, how do we do it? Let’s get cre­ative. Let’s find a solu­tion, let’s go. As opposed to just like, I don’t know if we do that, then my man­ager’s going to think this and blah, blah, blah. You know what I mean? It’s just like, there’s a lot more will­ing­ness to take risk when there’s a clear pic­ture of what win­ning is like and what los­ing is like, and let’s go.

Jason (25:45):

I mean, the thing that’s kind of wild is psy­chol­o­gists that study child devel­op­ment, things like that, play — kids lit­er­al­ly can­not thrive if they don’t play. There’s all kinds of bad things that hap­pen to kids if they go through life with­out hav­ing play, play­mates, that abil­i­ty to go through the learn­ing explo­ration. So I mean, in that research, what they find is it’s actu­al­ly the learn­ing that takes place. It’s the crit­i­cal think­ing, the prob­lem solv­ing, all those kinds of things. And then for some rea­son we shift away from that as adults. But seem­ing­ly, those expe­ri­ences still feel good to us to have that chal­lenge, to have that prob­lem solv­ing, to be faced with using some kind of crit­i­cal think­ing. So yeah, it’s just odd to me that as adults, that some­how kind of goes by the wayside.

Jor­dan (26:42):

I think we’re just scared. Yeah, I hon­est­ly think that’s what it’s about. It’s just this fear of los­ing. And I mean, I would love to hear from our lis­ten­ers on this. I’d love to hear just some, we, we’ve talked philo­soph­i­cal­ly, right, about how to bring play into work, and I think part of what we’ve shared is cel­e­brat­ing the loss­es, cel­e­brat­ing the peo­ple, hav­ing the audac­i­ty to just try and be cre­ative and go for it. But I think some of the real­ly prac­ti­cal ideas might come from our audi­ence. So I, I’d love it if peo­ple would reach out. I think Linked­In’s prob­a­bly the best way to do that, assum­ing that you’ve got an account to just say, Hey, here, here’s a way we play at work. Here’s a way that we’ve tak­en, we’ve gam­i­fied, we had this com­pe­ti­tion, or we did this dif­fer­ent thing to help us think dif­fer­ent­ly, or what­ev­er the case may be.


I think it’d be real­ly inter­est­ing to hear about that, and maybe we could bring some of that to bear next time we record an episode. But we are about at time, which snuck up on me again, so I’m going to have to recuse myself from the rest of the half hour here because I total­ly for­got to use the word until right now. You almost got me on that one. I was lost in the con­ver­sa­tion. But Jason, tell us what the word of the day is for next week, and hope­ful­ly I won’t get it at the 11th hour as I did this time.


All right, next week we’re going to have immac­u­late I.


Okay. All right. I feel like I’m going to be able to work that in more nat­u­ral­ly than recuse — very legal.


Since I knew you were going to almost for­get this one. I just want­ed to lay you up with one a lit­tle easier.


Just got it all fig­ured out. So this has been how peo­ple work. Again, your host, Jor­dan Peace, Jason Mur­ray. Thank you so much for lis­ten­ing this week and we’ll catch you next week. Bye-bye.

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