The Importance of Humor in Leadership and Leadership Development

In the corporate jungle, leadership development isn’t just about sitting through endless PowerPoint presentations or participating in trust falls that result in more trust issues than resolutions. Believe it or not, amidst the sea of awkward icebreakers and role-playing scenarios, there lies a nugget of gold that can truly transform the dynamics of employee engagement and customer satisfaction.  Infusing humor into leadership and leadership development can make a profound impact organization-wide.

The Director’s Stand-Up Routine

Picture this: a CEO stumbling through his first public speaking gig after a leadership retreat. His jokes fall flatter than a pancake on a griddle. But hey, his willingness to put himself out there sets the stage for vulnerability and authenticity, traits that resonate deeply with employees and customers alike.

The Awkward Team-Building Games

Ah, the classic team-building exercises. Whether it’s building a tower out of spaghetti and marshmallows or blindfolded trust falls, these activities are like comedic gold. They might not always go as planned (cue the collapsing towers and missed catches), but the shared laughter and camaraderie built in these moments can foster stronger bonds among team members, leading to improved partnership and ultimately, better customer service.

The Leadership Retreat Fiascos

Leadership retreats are like the business version of a camping trip — minus the s’mores and tent pitching. From getting lost in the wilderness to bonding over burnt coffee and stale muffins, these retreats are ripe with comedic potential. Yet, amidst the chaos, leaders have the opportunity to hone their skills, gain new insights, and return to the office with a renewed sense of purpose — all of which trickle down to boost employee morale and customer satisfaction.

The Comedy of Errors

Let’s face it: Leadership isn’t always smooth sailing. There are bound to be slipups along the way — missed deadlines, communication breakdowns, and the occasional office-wide email blooper (we’ve all been there.) But it’s how leaders navigate these pitfalls — with grace, humility, and a healthy dose of humor — that truly sets the stage for positive employee engagement and customer experiences.

In the grand scheme of things, leadership development isn’t just about acquiring new skills or mastering the art of motivational speeches. It’s about embracing the hilarity of the journey, learning from our missteps — and ultimately, fostering environments where employees feel empowered, customers feel valued, and good-natured laughter is the foundation. As we navigate that journey, may we all find the punchline to success!

Jeanne D. LoVette, DHA, currently serves as Designated Learning Officer/Midwest Consortium (MidCon). In this role, she leads the development and implementation of executive leadership programs throughout the four-VISN region.

Dr. LoVette has wide-ranging leadership experience, serving as interim executive leadership, and creating and standing up customer service and employee engagement programs during her more than 10 years with the federal government. She proudly served her country in the US Army and, as a servant leader, passionately “pays it forward” by serving as a certified leadership coach and mentor.

Dr. LoVette completed a doctorate in Healthcare Administration from Capella University, has earned certifications in change management, and is Green Belt certified. She is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), a volunteer with The Reading People Literacy organization, and a Michigan State University alum who loves all things Spartan Nation!

Photo by Mikael Blomkvist at pexels.com

Leave a Comment

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply