Humor in Leadership
Humor in leadership is like wisdom in life, we can live without it however we are better off having it. How seriously other people take us is inversely related to how seriously we take ourselves. In other words, if we can’t laugh at ourselves there is always someone who will do that for us.
Bringing people together
Paul Osincup said, that people are turning their back on impersonal and bureaucratic leadership. Good humor is about not taking ourselves to seriously and bringing people together.
We live in a world that interacting with other people becoming optional due to our increasing presence on social media. People are pining for mentors that are relatable, imperfect and even little silly sometimes.
60% of millennials are leaving their job in the first 3 years because they feel it is not a good culture fit for them. When they are asked to describe the best leaders in their organisations, the themes like work ethic and sense of humor are twice as often as any other characteristic.
A great example of humor in leadership we can derive from Abraham Lincoln. During one of his speeches someone shouted: “You are two-faced Lincoln!” and he responded something like:” If I had two faces, do you really think I would choose to wear this one ?”
The fact on humor
The fact on humor are astonishing: it reduces social distance between people, makes leaders be seen as more approachable and less stressful. It increases morale, productivity, sparks creativity and trust. Often it leads to laughter which increases the blood flow in our body, reduces muscle tension, massages our internal organs and burn calories. One solid minute of laughter is like 10 minutes on a rowing machine.
What is interesting our body does not know the difference between a real laugh and a fake laugh. Four years old kids is a laughing king with 300 laughs a day in comparison to an average 40-year-old who smiles only four times a day.
Paul Osincup refers to “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying” book written by Bronnie Ware, where people wish that they can stop pretending, laugh more often and have more silliness in their life again.
We all have childlike spark, we need to get it out more often and give this gift to the people around us. It is time that we send a message that when you are with me, you do not have to be serious and perfect all the time. We can have fun, make mistakes and be ourselves.
Life is too far important to be taken seriously.