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Effective Leaders Laugh Too

  • POSTED ON MAY 30, 2019

When was the last time you led through laughter? Whether your intent is to shift the tone in an intimate conversation with your partner or reignite an organizational vision in the boardroom, laughter can be a powerful tool for leadership.

Laughter becomes the means through which we hold ourselves apprenticed to our own learning while, simultaneously, serving as a vehicle to bring the fullness of our impact to life. How is this so?

Today’s leadership is a multi-dimensional paradigm for being, and it is the deepest expression of who we are in service to our world. Laughter is like the lubricant that allows that expression to flow freely and uninhibited from our source.

Beginning with the leader within, genuine laughter emerges as resonance. It connects us to and keeps us in touch with our values and what we hold dearest. And if you’re like me, you know that when the laughter stops, something’s out of alignment that is calling to be addressed. At the same time, laughter holds a deeper connection to the leader within, setting the space for a playful engagement with whatever emerges externally.

When we permit laughter to bring forth the space to play, we greet each experience with awe and possibility. This in turn opens a doorway through which we can let go of preconceived expectations, discover new levels of resourcefulness, and create from what is present, moment by moment. When we are at play, this unites with an appreciation for all things and a willingness to partner with that appreciation as we lead from the field.

The combined resonance of the leader within and the willingness to respond to our emergent realities through leader in the field can then become a platform for our relationships to shift. People are drawn to the resonance our laughter creates and in turn become more receptive and eager to play themselves.

Tapping into the magic of laughter is easy. The next time you find yourself being overly serious, imagine donning a brilliant red clown nose and see what shifts. And if you’re in a situation that could use a healthy does of levity, I challenge you to introduce this laughing exercise and dance in what comes.

Written By

Barton Cutter

Barton spear-headed Youth Leaders in Action, an advocacy and leadership program for junior high and high school age youth with disabilities, before going on to serve as the Communications Director and Advocacy Development Ambassador for The North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities.The owner of Cutter's Edge Consulting and Barton Cutter Coaching, Barton has also served as Accessibility Consultant for the Co-Active Training Institute. Today, he weaves together this rich background to offer leadership development coaching, training, and consulting to organizations and private clients globally.

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