Have Fun

“Work is love made visible.”

Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese-American writer

When I was fired, I spent a full year going through the job search and placement process. When I finally landed a job with Kraft Foods, I was determined to prove myself. On the heels of a lengthy job search and with a fire burning in my belly to deliver results, I attacked my new position with great seriousness. To do well, you must be serious, disciplined, on the straight-and-narrow at all times – or so I thought. Then, I met my boss’s boss. His name was Joe Durrett and he left a real impression on me.

As you might expect from a successful higher-up, Joe was very performance-oriented and a creative problem solver; he had high standards, and he was driven to deliver. These skills had helped him ascend to an influential position in the company. He got results. But, unlike some senior leaders I had encountered, he didn’t take himself too seriously. Joe was charismatic, easy to laughter, disarming, and joyful to be around – a fun guy.

As I settled into my new management job at Kraft, I enjoyed watching Joe work with people. This was a time when I was finding my footing and feeling out how I would lead and interact with people in this exciting new chapter in my career. My work with Neil MacKenna had awakened a new approach to leadership, and to life. It was a reboot: Doug 2.0. I’d been given a second chance.

For the first time, I was in a mindset to receive all the lessons that surrounded me – all ...

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