Lead with Laughter

“Good leaders must communicate vision clearly, creatively, and continually. However, the vision doesn’t come alive until the leader models it.”

- John C. Maxwell

Fewer things speak more clearly and with such emphasis and power than laughter.  For many years of my life, I enjoyed spending time laughing with my grandfather and talking about life.  He always expressed the importance of laughter and not taking things “too seriously.”  The longer I live, and the more I experience various situations in life, I have come to the conclusion that my grandfather, indeed, may have been on to something.

As we look at leadership, and the many hundreds of thousands of leaders there are in the world, one thing is universal.  People, employees, and interns want to be led by a leader who truly does “come alive”and models what they expect from their employees or those whom they are leading.

A 2012 study conducted by Gallup discovered that, “Twenty one percent of Americans use their strengths for three hours or fewer per day and are, therefore, carrying a much heavier emotional burden than adults who use their strengths throughout the day.”  Being weighted down by emotional baggage can most certainly be transferred to those who we lead, and therefore, can send productivity, morale, and the overall environment into a tailspin in the wrong direction.

The study also reported, “The more hours per day adults believe they use their strengths, the more likely they are to report having ample energy, feeling well-rested, being happy, smiling or laughing a lot….”So, what does this tell us?

  1. Utilize our strengths on a daily basis to provide us with an energy boost and a much needed emotional boost.

  2. Exude positivity and energy. Smile more – it will be mirrored by those we lead and will be reciprocated!

  3. Dig deep and use laughter as a tool to increase our daily mood. It will bolster us to utilize our strengths, and create a warm, fun and engaging environment.

It’s a cycle. The happier we are, the more we will smile and laugh. The more we do so, the more those around us will do the same. Infuse this into your culture at work and at home. Choose laughter and watch things begin to change.

Take time to laugh during the day – it will make you a better leader!

Contributed by: NaKaisha Tolbert-Banks, LCSW, CEC, CLYL 

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