What My Dad Taught Me About Having Fun
I believe lightheartedness grows a humble heart.
I picked up this principle from my dad. He loved to have a good time. But he was also a serious businessman. And he loved to serve others.
We don’t always associate being good in business with lightheartedness. And when was the last time we thought about humor and humility as a tag-team of leadership qualities?
But maybe we should.
A few years ago the Harvard Business Review published an article titled “Leading With Humor.” The writer, Alison Beard, reported that, "Laughter relieves stress and boredom, boosts engagement and well-being, and spurs not only creativity and collaboration but also analytic precision and productivity.”
It’s easy as leaders to get so caught up in efficiency and production that we forget the culture we cultivate contributes to our business outcomes.
I think in the business world we can get too serious. Of course, we should be serious about our work in that we do our best, we strive for excellence, and we perform with integrity.
But we can still endeavor to do our best work while cultivating an environment of lightheartedness.
Lightheartedness doesn’t mean that we have to be walking around telling jokes, or poking fun at things. Rather, it means we view ourselves in the light of humility.
What I’ve observed in leaders, like my dad, is that their ability to keep things light comes from their practice of humility—of not taking themselves too seriously.
Lightheartedness means you find joy in pursuing the good of others. The act of not taking yourself too seriously means you are able to laugh at your mistakes even as you learn from them. One of the key ingredients to Dad’s vision of great customer service was laughter.
My hope is that I can respond with humility and lightheartedness when things are going well, and when things at work tax me.
How has humor and humility added life to your workplace?