Posted by: chrismaser | May 12, 2010


Leadership, although a serious responsibility, need not be dull. A cause can be enriched, even enhanced, when a leader and the people can laugh together, but most particularly when a leader can laugh at themself in front of others.

It is important for a leader recognize that genuine humor and laughter can help to accomplish the end rather than hinder it. There are times, of course, when laughter is used to cover up discomfort and to escape from the experience of facing a threat, such as the need to change. It’s the leader’s task to distinguish between humor used as a crutch, which distracts, and humor that unites people and thus enriches their experience of life, such as dealing with a difficult situation or person.

Series on Leadership Challenges:

Return to the First Set of Posts

• Avoiding Self-Deception

• Over-Investment In Followers

• Coping With Someone You Dislike

• Imagine Yourself As Different People

• Inspiring Performance

• Nurturing Creativity

• Making Do With What You Have

• Establishing Realistic Objectives

• The Need For Urgency

• Give Counsel, Not Advice

• The Questions We Ask

• Burnout

• Leadership Within Organizations

Text © by Chris Maser, 2010. All rights reserved.

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This article is excerpted from my 1998 book, Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Development. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, FL. 235 pp. It is updated in my 2012 book, Decision Making For A Sustainable Environment: A Systemic Approach. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. If you want more information about this book, want to purchase it, or want to contact me—visit my website.

If you wish, you can also read an article about what is important to me and/or you can listen to me give a presentation.

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