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Good Leaders: What value do you see in fun@work?

March 17 is “St. Titan’s Day” as named by Darin Lynch, CEO of Irish Titan. Fun is a big part of their serious approach to eCommerce.

Getting your enterprise into eCommerce through online sales and service is serious business. That’s why I’m introducing you to Darin Lynch, CEO of Irish Titan. Take one good look at Darin, and you’ll know that he’s not serious about many things. He’s successful because he role models how businesses can be fun at work, and still stone-cold serious about making your business better online.

Darin and I have basically grown up together as entrepreneurs. Darin’s team built our first web site.  Our mutual friend, Steve Blexrud, introduced me to Darin by saying, “This is one of the funnest guys I know…it’s like a carnival is about to break out when you meet him.”  He’s your speaker on Friday, October 20, at the Good Leadership Breakfast because we are focusing the message on: How making your work playful and joyful is good for you and your business.

Fun@work is a serious strategy

“If you discount sleeping time, we’re all spending most of our time at work – it’s the most obvious cliche alive today,” explains Darin. “We’re not that foosball game, gimmicky, over-the-top silly culture – I just created the type of independent, privately owned company that I wanted to work for when I was back in corporate,” he explained. “So far, that means we are finding people who are really serious about their craft, but don’t take themselves too seriously as they work. And we think that’s fun.”

A recent pick-up basketball game included TV and Hollywood star Woody Harrelson.

Outside the office, Darin is an active father and a fiercely competitive pick-up basketball player. “I came up with the name ‘Irish Titan’ during a pick-up game, it just came to me while I was working out!” he recalls. Irish is a tribute to his family heritage, and the Titan part is a tribute to their bold approach to the market. “I liked the idea of the titan image as a striking visual image of our intention to be a powerhouse in the digital/IT space,” Darin grinned.

Fun in the face of challenges

At work that translates into a culture where every new employee learns about their “slightly rogues behavior” by singing their high school fight song at their first monthly staff meeting. “We’ve heard some dramatic, excellent, and awful singing – it’s a big part of our culture!” he laughed. That shared experience creates an inherent humility, and the ability for people to keep their work light and joyful, “…especially important when we are really challenged.” as Darin puts it.

Darin is raising two adventurous daughters who embrace his love of costumes and whimsy.

And there are a lot of challenges. The intersection of marketing, sales, and customer service as facilitated by information technologies online is the fastest moving workspace I know. The threat of malicious hackers who take stealing your money online as sport should make you cheer/pray for the people in the eCommerce everyday.

Parties help

To keep the fun-at-work brand alive, every employee receives an Irish Titan rugby jersey on their one year employment anniversary. But the top-of-the-fun-chart is the tradition that all new employees inherit the job of planning the biggest day of the year: St. Patrick’s Day. “We call St. Patrick’s Day, St., Titan’s Day in our shop. It’s like everyone’s birthday celebrated on the same day!”

Good leaders understand that our best work happens when we are light, easy, and joyful in our pursuits. And they build cultures where fun@work is serious business.

Please join me in celebrating fun@work on Friday, October 20, when Darin Lynch is the speaker at the Good Leadership Breakfast. Get your tickets here.

Please share with me: What value do you see in fun@work?

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