Here’s an idea to clarify your facts before you make a decision. Reading time: 4:24
Laughter is the best medicine, you’ve heard for years. Yet how many times do you laugh in a single day especially now that you have the added responsibilities in your leadership position?
No wonder the most effective leaders have to work at sharpening their sense of humor. A good laugh or even a mild smile can go a long way in helping you practice your CYA– Check Your Assumptions–in your decision-making process.
A good laugh or two can lift a big burden of pressure off your shoulders . That’s why you deserve a break– maybe even a fracture of your funny bone or at least your tongue firmly wedged in your cheek. Hone your sense of humor today.
Savor the following three humorous Leadership Mints. Freshen your ability to practice your CYA. And perhaps refresh your leadership thinking in the process.
1. The 13-year-old daughter was concerned. Her parents were refinancing their house again. The daughter needed clarification: “But dad haven’t you been paying on the house all these years,” Amy wondered. Yes her dad assured her.
She looked around her bedroom like a queen looks at her throne and said with a good deal of exasperation: “Well, is MY ROOM at least paid for?”
2. “Father, your TV is broke,” the housekeeper said to the Priest. The Priest corrected his housekeeper: “That’s our TV, not mine. It is the entire Church’s TV. I have taken an oath of poverty. I can’t own anything.” The house keeper understood but must have forgotten because a few weeks later she announced to the Priest “Your DVR is not working.” CYA- Check Your Assumptions. Continue reading “CYA Check Your Assumptions”→
Here’s an idea to sharpen your ability to maintain control of a situation with humor. Reading time: 3:14.
When First Lady Nancy Reagan was criticized for her taste in expensive china and designer clothes, the wife of the President of the United States told reporters that she was not acting like a queen. “After all a tiara would surely muss my hair,” she grinned with her tongue firmly in her cheek.
In the 1858 senate race in Illinois, Stephen Douglas called Abe Lincoln a “two-faced man.” Lincoln calmly responded: “If I had another face, do you think I would wear this one?”
And when Mohandas Gandhi was asked if he was embarrassed to visit the King of England dressed only in a loin cloth, Gandhi replied “Oh no, the King has on quite enough for both of us.”
Ah, the art of the quip–a powerful leadership tool –that can turn potentially embarrassing situations into amusing distractions and help a leader maintain control more with a hearty laugh than a hardened hand.
To help you sharpen your own wits and enhance your leadership thinking, here are a few quips I’ve collected over the years that leaders have used to humor their audiences in stressful circumstances.
A college professor walked into to a lecture hall and found that his students had moved out all the chairs. The professor put down his notes, looked up and said triumphantly: Thank you for that standing ovation, amazing there’s so much interest in my talk tonight that every seat in the house is taken.” Continue reading “Attitude: E-Quip Yourself With Humor”→
Here’s an idea to stay focused on your long-term goals. Reading time: 2:13.
When you are trying to catch your train of thought, it’s too tempting to simply reach out and latch on to whatever you can.
It’s too easy to focus only on what HAPPENS next. Sequentially.
It’s more demanding to step back–thoughtfully, strategically and collectively–to carefully consider – what NEXT could happen. Consequentially.
Yet sometimes short-term benefits overshadow long-term objectives.
That’s why I applaud leaders who contain their short-term focus like one of my clients, the first woman to be named CEO of the organization. She pointed to a large framed photo of a cat and told me an allegory I will never forget on the significance of leaders thinking long-term.
Here’s an idea to sharpen your sense of humor to increase your performance . Reading time: 3:12
The bite of the flu bug left me writhing in pain and moaning in bed one early morning. “Oh, God. Oh, God!” I moaned. And moaned. My wife, laying next to me, sized up the situation quickly. She knew I was looking more for sympathy than for survival. “Oh, God. Oh God!” I moaned again.
“Yes?” deadpanned my wife right on cue. “How can I help you?”
I laughed. The more I laughed the more I hurt. Oh, my aching ribs. But I didn’t care. It was funny. And I laughed — at the hurt.
My wife’s sense of humor taught me a lesson in what I have come to understand as the FUNdamentals of Leadership. That’s the uncanny ability of leaders to use comic relief in real or perceived tense situations to renew, revive and rekindle the heart and soul of others.