HUMOR—Lead with Humble Humor not Hubris

Chapter 8 Pg’s 181-182 Lead With Love By; Gerry Czarnecki

Go ahead and laugh at the irony: humor is a topic that should be taken seriously. Leaders who want the best from their associates must incorporate humor into the workplace. Not to be mistaken for “goofing off” or slapstick jokes, humor is about attitudes and actions that promote health, happiness, teamwork, creativity, and job satisfaction. Organizations that embrace humor employ associates who love coming to work. As a leader, it is your responsibility to lighten up and laugh, and encourage your associates to do the same.

 Incorporating humor in the workplace does not mean you should suddenly become a comedian. It is about lightening up the tone, mood, and atmosphere. Diligent, disciplined work is required to achieve the high expectations you set for yourself and your associates. That diligence and discipline needs a counterbalance to promote well-being and alleviate stress. We’ve all experienced stress and its uncomfortable symptoms such as headache and nausea; however, stress that continues without relief leads to distress, a condition that causes serious adverse health effects. According to a report published by the Cleveland Clinic, “Stress is linked to six of the leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide.”

 Studies also indicate stress has a negative impact on the immune system, making those who suffer from stress more prone to illness. The extremely competitive work environment that dominates our society has also increased the level of stress among workers. Furthermore, the need to constantly learn and improve in order to advance is stressful, as is the fear that comes with the potential of losing a job. If too much stress leads to distress and disease, then it is incumbent upon leaders to reduce the stress for themselves and their associates. How? Humor.

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