There is power in laughing.
Laughter brings people together by reminding us that we share values and have a common perspective. When someone laughs, they can see things in new ways. Laughing reminds us that things may not be as impossible as we think they are.
Humor and wit are important tools for a leader. The leaders who inspire me tap into emotions that run beneath the surface, connecting with people along their core values and principles. They help people see where they have become caught up in taking particular actions or meeting specific objectives, and lost sight of who they truly want to be.
Leaders help people see the irony of getting focused on specific, measurable outcomes that do not take us where we want to go.
There are physiological benefits to laughing, and there are emotional benefits. People are motivated to do things that make them feel good, that give them joy.There are few things in life that are more enjoyable, and more inspiring, than overcoming seemingly impossible obstacles to become who you can be.
Leadership is helping people recognize and experience the joy of doing their best.
Leaders help us laugh in the face of challenges, and laugh at ourselves. More than those, leaders help us laugh with joy as we become our true selves. Their true selves draw out the true selves of the people around them, and together we become much more than we were before.
The leaders who have made the most difference for me could connect with who I really am, even if I did not yet imagine it myself, and celebrate the person I could be.
What have you laughed about today?
How is your leadership a source of joy for you?
When is the last time you lead people by getting them to laugh with you?
[Image by wickenden]