Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Six Reasons a Sense of Humor is Required for Leadership

Why would anyone in his or her right mind pursue leadership? You're responsible for people you really don't control. You're accountable to people who don't understand what you do. You work long hours for which you receive no extra pay. And in some cases, the salaried employees make more than the managers. Truth be told. You move into leadership because you've gone as high as you can go in your career field. Leadership seems like the next natural step. Or you can stay where you are and receive no more promotions or increases in pay. So you decide to become a leader. How hard can it be? Right?

In a perfect world, you want to be in leadership to inspire or coach people to reach his or her potential so you can give everyone all the tools he or she needs to succeed. Or you aspire to be a mentor leader so you can help people grow and become better followers and eventually a good leader. Or to be a make a difference to the team and the organization. Funny. No one ever mentions the real reasons. Like they want more money. Or their control freaks and like bossing people around. Or they like the idea of not having to do the day-to-day menial tasks they hate doing.

In the business world, leadership can be like walking on a tightrope 200 feet above ground with nothing but concrete to catch you if you fall. You catch it from both sides as a leader. Management wants increased productivity. Increased sales. Increased customer satisfaction. Cut in costs. Cuts in spending. Decreased hiring. The demands are never ending.

"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." e.e. cummings

With these many demands, responsibilities and pressures, laughter is a must. You're going spend almost a third of your life at work, it might as well be fun. Believe it or not there are some benefits to work and laughter.
  • Improves camaraderie among workers
  • Increases approachability between the leader and workers
  • Makes the day go by faster
  • Makes the job a lot more fun
  • Makes the leader seem more human
  • Builds a bond between leaders and workers
Have you worked anywhere laughter helped make the job fun? Or have you worked somewhere the laughter wasn't welcome? Please provide some feedback about the relationship between you and your leaders(s). 

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