Jeff Weiner is CEO at LinkedIn and he recently posted about the people he most likes to work with. His article got 20,000+ likes. His Venn Diagram sums it up quite well.
Weiner writes on the topic of how to have fun:
It then occurred to me that I’ve known a number of people who embodied the ability to dream big and get sh*t done, but who also proved very difficult to work with. Perhaps shielded by the immense value they brought to their respective organizations, they never cultivated the ability to manage compassionately, or even cared to. Rather, they did things their way and expected everyone around them to adapt accordingly. More often than not, that’s exactly what people did.
This is one of the most important things for me – working with people that know how to have fun. I admit to having a sarcastic, smart-ass sense of humor or I notice things that are sound funny in the middle of a serious meeting. I remember early in my career being in a meeting and hearing someone say something like that will be a new paradigm. To which I replied, that’s worth 20 cents. He said, what? I replied, “a pair of dimes is 20 cents”. He laughed hard and then you could see the look come over his face, that he was thinking, hey wait we’re in a business meeting talking about serious stuff, i mean, i like laughing and all that but we need to act serious.
I think you can and should have both: be serious about the business problem or strategy you’re working on AND have fun. It’s not like we’re doing brain surgery.