14 Leadership Experts Reflect on Humor and Fun: A Frontline Festival

Welcome back to the Let’s Grow Leaders Frontline Festival. Our August Festival is all about Humor in the Workplace. Thanks to Joy and Tom Guthrie of Vixwerx for the great pic.

“Everything is funny, as long as it’s happening to somebody else.” – Will Rogers

Humor and Leadership

“A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Bob Whipple of the Trust Ambassador tells us to Wag More, Bark Less.  It’s a pretty simple way to lead better.  Follow @rwhipple

Martin Webster of Leadership Thoughts shares his personal leadership mnemonic. What does L E A D E R S H I P mean? What’s Your Leadership Mnemonic? Follow @tristanwember

Jennifer V. Miller of The People Equation advises that all leaders encounter potentially embarrassing situations and offers three ways to deal with inevitable unfortunate leadership gaffes in 5 Reasons Leaders Fear Embarrassment.  Follow @JenniferVMiller

As we all know, trust is a pretty complex subject and there are different types of trust. Some are based on competence, others on honesty. Many are situational. Barbara Kimmel of Trust Across America shares a fun story Don’t Trust Your Dog with Your Shoes. Follow @BarbaraKimmel

Fun with Your Team

“One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain’t nothin’ can beat teamwork.” – Edward Abbey

Dan McCarthy of Great Leadership tells us Don’t Force Your Employees to Have “Fun” at Work. Follow @greatleadership

Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership encourages us to Listen for Engagement because laughter is a characteristic of engaged teams. Follow @wallybock

John Hunter of the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog shares that joy in work encompasses fun—that it is fun to take pride in what you do and  help others. Take a look at Positivity and Joy in Work . Follow @curiouscat_com

Michelle Pallas of Lead On says There’s No Substitute for Thinking. “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” Really? Follow @michellepallas

Enjoying Your Days

“A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.” – Steve Martin

Lisa Kohn of Thoughtful Leaders Blog shares Seven Stupid and Easy Things to Do to have a Better Day. We have a choice between whether we let our stressors get us down, or whether we do something stupid that makes us laugh and makes our mood—and our day—better.  Follow @thoughtfulLdrs

Bill Benoist of Leadership Heart Coaching shares about Having Fun at Work. So why did the frog cross the road? Ask a few people at work this question and watch how your day begins to change. Follow @leadershipheart

Matt McWilliams gives us the Top 10 Office Practical Jokes that can help colleagues grow closer, destroy barriers, and dramatically improve morale.  Follow @MattMcWilliams2

Willy Steiner of Executive Coaching Concepts points out that Americans neglect to take 175 million vacation days they are eligible for annually! His post, The Disappearing Vacation (and 8 Reasons You Should Take One) explores some of these troubling facts, explains why it may be happening, and gives you eight reasons why you, the leader, need to get out of the office. Follow @coachforexecs

Becoming a Humorous Person

“Comedy is acting out optimism.” – Robin Williams

Lisa Hamaker has been working on her humor and shares her progress at Worth It! My Long Journey to Being Mildly Funny. We’re all different and it really shows up in our humor—what we laugh at, and how funny we are. Does working on it help? I think so. Follow @lisahamaker.

David Dye of Trailblaze – Engage! asks “Do you ever feel like a fraud? A fake? Like you have no business leading anyone? If so you are in good company with almost every leader. Dave shares several antidotes to the imposter syndrome, including humor in “What to Do When You Feel Like a Fraud.” After all, “It’s hard to be critical if you’re adorable.” Follow @davidmdye

BONUS TRACK

hug-your-bosslarry coppenrathTomorrow is National Hug Your Boss Day. In celebration Larry Coppenrath has mind mapped Overcoming an Imperfect Boss. You can download his work by clicking here: OAIB Mind Maps

Call For Submissions

Sepetember’s Frontline Festival is about Bold and Innovative Leadership.  New participants welcome.

Want Great Customer Service? Call A Vampire

If you need to contact a customer service call center, today would be a good day.

You will likely get great customer service. Employees will be happy, spirits will be high.

Oh, and the pictures will be fantastic.

From my experience and in talking to leaders in call centers across the industry, today the phones will be answered by vampires, zombies, clowns, and pirates. There will be joy in their voices, a skip in their steps, and their customer service will be delightful.

Why Costumes Lead to Great Customer Service

I asked a seasoned customer service leader why costumes work.

It’s the energy. My theory has always been that results on any singular day are driven by atmosphere. So costume days increase the fun and excitement, and it shows in the tone and inflection. When you are having fun and are excited, the pace of your conversation, the conviction of your voice are upped another level. The secret we all wish we could bottle is the energy and excitement on the floor. For the long-term it’s driven by effective coaching, and the only way coaching works is if you have a willing audience, you get that by how you interact daily.

Why Leaders Should Wear One Too

I have spent much of my career finding excuses to wear wigs, sing songs, and inspiring others to do the same. My “best of” pics lining the walls of my office include my entire leadership team dressed as the gang from Star Wars, Diana Ross and the Supremes, and other “you just had to be there” moments. These times create lasting memories and bring the team closer together.

Costumes work because…

  • Costumes are silly, and silly is fun. We all need that
  • Fun makes us real. Real creates connections. Connections inspire awesome customer experiences
  • Teams long for a leader to show they are vulnerable. Nothing says exposed like a blue wig.
  • Risk taking is an important leadership competency, it’s a bit gutsy to ask your team to follow you into a costume, maybe it will make the next risk easier to take
  • Silly creates lasting team experiences which draw the team together. “Remember the time she had us all.”(they may complain, but I guarantee the guy who resisted the most has a picture of that day in his office)
  • It says fun is good. Let’s make more. And send me your pics.