3 Reasons Leaders Should Laugh More

by. Matt Monge

Believe it or not, workplace levity can be quite the lightning-rod topic in many organizations.

There are a few moments in my career I won’t soon, if ever, forget.

One took place at a former employer during a meeting when an executive looked at me — with a straight, if not disgusted, face mind you — and asked why having happy employees was really “that big a deal.” I laughed, out loud, in the middle of that meeting. I was the only one. To this day that remains one of the funniest moments of my life.

As more folks connect through social media, at conferences, and however else, some get all worked up about “creating a professional image,” or some similarly expressed notion, which simply means making something look or feel or sound like what’s expected. Or at least what is perceived to be expected by a particular group of people in a particular setting. Or what they wish was what was expected.

Sadly, this often results in sucky presentations, boring social media, run-of-the-mill advertising, dreadful workplaces, robotic interactions, etc. It may be “professional,” but when’s the last time you couldn’t get something out of your mind because of how “professional” it was? When’s the last time you couldn’t wait to do something because it was just so….”professional”?

There are any number of things you could be that many would argue run contrary to being “professional,” if we confine the word to that meaning, which I don’t, by the way.

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