I have never seen any research that relates the capacity of a leader to have fun with effectiveness and results. Not have I ever seen anything that shows the importance of humour as a differentiating factor for great teamwork. Yet it seems obvious doesn’t it?
Well, maybe not… after all one person’s sense of humour is another person’s lawsuit; and perhaps the all important corporate numbers are best ground out by the humourless. After all, we should stay focused and what are the best jokes if not distractions?!
All this was provoked by a friend who said my website was a little bit serious – and, darn it, I think he’s right. Yet actually, some of my favourite times in teams, either leading them or as part of them, is when we’ve been collapsed helpless, laughing – often at ourselves! I am willing to bet most of you can identify with that too!
Yes humour isn’t logically necessary to get the job done and fun is perhaps not a job description necessity, but for making emotional connections between people, it is so often a winner! Indeed I am sure I have laughed most and had most fun when our backs were against the wall and failure was a present possibility. It’s in fact a great emotional release as well as a way to stand back, get perspective and then really go for it again!
Philip James is a Consulting Partner at SLP He leads our Organisational Capability practice