The Laughing Leader

Laughter is the best medicine, especially if there’s no medicine around.

In leadership, one of the greatest skills we can learn is the ability to laugh, especially at ourselves.

One mistake so many young leaders make is taking themselves too seriously.

I did.

I wanted to be the best leader possible and my reputation was something I crafted and guarded much to the detriment of others and my own leadership.

I was self-focused and forgot this simple truth: I was leading people.

People can sense a leader’s mood, temperament and security.

Secure, confident and joy-filled leaders are easy to follow.

Insecure, uncertain, and moody leaders make it nearly impossible.

Leaders must learn to laugh… especially at themselves.

Here are a few quick ways:

1. Embrace your humanity

Humans fail and make mistakes. Understand it, own it and have a chuckle about your own inadequacy.

2. Chart your progress

I love to go back and read old stuff I’ve written. Leadership lessons and sermons from years ago make me laugh.

Seriously, try it. I bet your first sermon, sales presentation, or quarterly report are pretty hilarious.

3. Poke fun at yourself

Steve Martin, one of my favorite entertainers is credited with discovering a new brand of comedy.

What kind? The kind where the joke always on him.

Don’t make yourself the hero of all your stories or anecdotes; allowing yourself to be the punch line allows people to feel connected to you.

I’m not saying you must make an utter fool of yourself to be a better leader.

“Good-tempered leaders invigorate lives.” Proverbs 16.15, The Message

Relax.

Have a good laugh… at yourself.

It will help you and your followers feel at ease.

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