Defining a leader — with a sense of humor

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Leadership styles are funny. At least, that’s how some, tired of the clichés in management books, prefer to view them. I wanted to look into how humor plays into the role leaders play in an organization, but instead I stumbled on this humorous adaptation of a common style of a leadership quiz.

Now, there’s an entire industry made out of those “what type of leader are you?” quizzes. Many companies and college courses invest hundreds of dollars (if not higher) on administering these quizzes to their employees or students in order to define their personalities and pair them up with a team that will capitalize on those qualities. The accuracy of those quizzes has yet to be quantitatively confirmed, despite the many qualitative examples assuring their success (“I tried Leadership Test XYZ and my employees worked together better than ever before and increased productivity by 200%!!”).

But one thing those quizzes don’t test is whether or not you, the quiz-taker, have a sense of humor. And while having a sense of humor isn’t the make-or-break quality of a successful leader, it certainly helps in what can be a very stressful position. As a leader, one has numerous responsibilities, including being in charge of making sure other people do their individual jobs. Of course, not all things go according to plan when it comes to supervising. The ability to deal with problems as they come and look at ways to solve them creatively will make a leader far more insightful than one that only plays by the rules. And while those leadership quizzes are always eager to put you into a category, sometimes, being a personable human being who can empathize and share a good laugh with his or her coworkers doesn’t fit in option 1, 2, 3, or 4 — it’s something you can’t put a number on.

Being a leader can be all it’s cracked up to be, and much more — but if you’re not “managing to have fun,” as this article states, you can quickly lose perspective. And to conclude with a poignant quote from that article: “Business author Paul Hawken said it best, ‘We lead by being human. We do not lead by being corporate, by being professional or by being institutional.'”

One Comment on “Defining a leader — with a sense of humor”

  1. As a leader you always have to take decisions regardless of knowing whether you will fail or pass. But you should be proud on your decision and everyday you should go towards you goal … one step everyday will then bring you success

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