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A laugh a minute helps you lead

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills,Management Training

If you’ve been a fan of Executive Leadership, you know that leadership lessons may come from anywhere.

Steve Cody, a public relations consultant who blogs as The Repman, says he’s learned five things about leadership from practicing stand-up comedy.

1. Courage builds courage. Regularly facing an audience, especially a hostile one, thickens your skin and deepens your access to bravery. The more you do it, the easier it becomes to put on your game face.

2. You have to get over yourself. The less seriously you take your own precious life, the more credibility you gain as a leader.

3. Timing is (almost) everything. Relentless practice will help you develop the kind of rapport you need so you can fill a pregnant pause or use humor to ease tension.

4. It’s not just what you say, but how. Nonverbal cues matter. Your audience will demand both competence and confidence.

5. Humor works like a magnet. A leader willing to laugh in tough circumstances shows enormous confidence, which attracts followers. Cody finds humor an incredibly powerful leadership tool, especially in bad times, because it says: “If we stick together, we will get through this.”

— Adapted from “So This Leader Walks Into A Bar: Leadership Lessons From Stand-Up Comedy,” Ken Jacobs, Naval Leadership.

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