Jim Naleid's - TEC Blog

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Humor in the C-Suite

What's so funny?

Executives know there are opportunities everyday to display humor and yet, more often than not, they pass them by.  Why?

Before you owned a company, led it or managed one of its divisions, did you have a better sense of humor than you have or allow yourself to exhibit now?

Countless numbers of corporate leaders could be making a huge mistake by keeping their sense of humor under wraps.

We all personally know leaders who, when away from the C-Suite are funny and liberal with a smile, (accompanied by a good snort now and then,) but for some reason, hold back from displaying the same with their colleagues, competitors and customers. Truth is, they are also under-utilizing a prized leadership skill.

"A jest often decides matters of importance more effectively and happily than seriousness."

You understand I'm not talking about what some mistake to be humor when it is crude, vulgar, cynical, sarcastic or directed at an unassuming and indefensible colleague.

We're talking about the wide range of skills needed by every leader, no matter what the battle. It just so happens that the sense of humor each of us either have been born with or developed over our lifetimes, seems to be forgotten or deleted from the portfolio of skills required to lead.

No doubt there is a time and place for everything, just as there is for the use of one leadership skill over another. Lately I've been asking CEOs about their sense of humor and most believe that their natural ability to find humor, even in difficult situations, is something to keep guarded.

I disagree with them on that and urge every business leader who shares that sentiment to reconsider. There's plenty of serious stuff in every day to be serious about, but you know what? An alert, lively and genuine leader also knows there is, or ought to be,  plenty to smile about too. It's all in a days' work.

Jim Naleid is a Life-long Entrepreneur, Change-Agent and Thought Leader, Managing Director of Naleid & Associates and Regional TEC (“The Executive Committee”) Chair leading a group of executives to become Better Leaders, Making Better Decisions with Better Results. http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimnaleid

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