What is the number one requirement of a leader? Passion, perseverance, management skills, leadership experience, tact, self-awareness? Nope, none of these.
The number one requirement of a leader is in fact a Halloween costume. Or shall I say the culture-driving guts to wear a Halloween costume at work.
See employees look around on days like Halloween to see what is/is not appropriate behavior. And believe me, they look at the executives first. Does the CEO wear a costume? Do the SVPs, the VPs?
If the answers are a resounding NO, then why should we expect that an employee put the effort in?
For some strange reason, as people rise up the ladder they seem to exclude themselves from having to participate in company events. It's a contagious disease that slowly rots the core of culture at work.
This guy in the cowboy costume? He's the CEO of Southwest Airlines. OF COURSE, he wears a costume every year. He even lets employees vote in on what his next year's costume is going to be. But you'd expect that from a culture like Southwest Airlines, right?
What about your work? Does HR ask for participation around fun events and then get about 40% of the people? Yea, usually the case.
Unless, it is driven from above. At Wunderman West, my last agency, 100% of the company dressed up for Halloween. And it started with 100% of the executive team wearing a group costume.
If higher-level employees showed a bit more team spirit, events that we call team-building would in fact have a chance at working. Yet it tends to be "team-building with the exception of the executives."
Put a a god-damn costume. Risk embarrassment. Be a normal employee having fun. THAT is what we want to be contagious. THAT is what drives a tiny bit more culture, one costume at a time.