Everyone Wants to Work at the Party, Until They Do…

This past week I got a chance to head down from frigid cold Michigan and spend a couple of days in Phoenix (Thanks, Paradox/Olivia!). Some work, some play. I went to the PGA event being held in Scottsdale. If you aren’t familiar with the Waste Management Open PGA Event, and you love golf, this is a bucket list event to attend. If you hate golf and have zero interest, this is STILL a bucket list event to attend!

Basically, the Waste Management Open is what happens when someone said, “What if we have a party with 250,000 people and threw a golf tournament into the middle of it! I wish I was exaggerating, I’m not, it’s unbelievable fun and mayhem, and it’s a professional “boring” golf tournament!

It’s a giant party.

I got a really cool opportunity to spend the entire morning walking the course with a golf agent of one of the top players in the world. Super cool guy and very generous to let me tag along with him on his “job”. We were following his player. And of course, me being me, I was grilling him with questions and talking shop.

Because of all the crowd insanity going on, which is the opposite of a normal golf tournament, my belief was these golfers must LOVE this! The agent agreed, for one weekend, it’s very cool and most of the golfers love this unique experience. But. There’s always a but, right? This is their job. It’s a super stressful, performance-driven occupation where a missed put can mean you get paid to play golf on the weekend or you fly home early with nothing. Or a missed putt at the end of your round can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

So, it’s great for one week, but it would be a nightmare having to deal with this every week!

Too many people think they want to work at the party!

Working at the party is fun, until you never have time for some calm. For some focused time. For some sanity in a stressful world. It’s why constant motivation and energy are unsustainable, the body and mind love to have it in doses, here and there, but it would be destroyed having it all the time.

I hear leaders tell their HR team, “I want an upbeat, high-energy work environment all the time!” And the HR team tries to build it, but it always fails. We can produce this for certain events, certain points in time, but constantly would be a nightmare. It would be some drunk dude screaming your name as you’re trying to make a $250K putt on the 18th green, but instead of this just happening once, it’s happening every single time you putt!

I think too many people mistake “fun” with “success”. I find that most employees who are successful in their job and career describe that success as having fun at work. As work being positive, etc. It’s very rare where you’ll find a successful employee who describes their work environment as not fun, boring, etc.

They think, if I’m having fun at work, that will feel amazing. But I can provide a fun environment and if you’re failing, you’ll still feel awful because you’re failing. “But, Timmy, there’s a roller coaster in the lobby! And we have beer anytime you want!” Yeah, but I can’t figure out how to do my job and I can’t reach my goals.

As a fan, I absolutely love the Waste Management Open and before I had a chance to hear and see the other side, my thought process was why hasn’t every PGA event turned into “this”? It’s because for how much everyone involved loves this ‘one’ event, having it over and over again, would no longer be fun for the main attraction, the golfers who are trying to do their job.

So, what’s the moral of this story? A little “party” goes along way!

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