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Why Leaders Need Imagination And A Sense Of Humor?

February 28, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 160

There are so many different reasons and factors that enter into the equation of whether someone will prove to be an effective and great leader, or will not. In over thirty years of involvement in all areas of leadership, from being a corporate executive, to be a non-profit executive staff member, to training, qualifying, identifying, consulting to, and working with over a thousand leaders and/ or potential leaders, I have probably spent more time considering this issue than most. Two factors are consistently essential for effective leaders, having imagination, and possessing a sense of humor. Sir Francis Bacon wrote, "Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor for what he is."

1. Why is imagination such a crucial characteristic? President John F. Kennedy famously spoke of the fact that while others might see thing as they are and ask why, he instead saw thing as they should be, and asked why they were not or could not rather be that way. Martin Luther King spoke of his dream of how the America of the future could be, and his hope that his dream became a reality. Without imagination, no leader would be able to have a vision, and without a vision, what would the mission of a group be? Organizations either continue to evolve and move forward, or they become stagnant and lose relevancy. The only way we can improve is to imagine how much better or ideal things might be, and it is this imagination that provides us with the goals, and thus, the motivation to aim to be better than we are now.

2. Make no doubt about it, leadership is a very serious matter. If one wants to be a true and great leader, he must be serious about his position and commit fully to his vital vision, and for the betterment of his organization. Therefore, is it not a contradiction to also speak of the need for a leader to have a sense of humor? There is no doubt that leaders with a sense of humor are invariably better leaders. This sense of humor provides them with a healthy perspective, and the ability to laugh at themselves (and thus not take themselves too seriously), as well as handling the criticism that accompanies true leadership. The reality is that if no one criticizes, chances are the individual is not doing anything of consequence, and taking action is central to true leadership. Having a sense of humor helps a leader realize and accept other points of views, as well as see and accept opposing perspectives. Leaders who take themselves too seriously are often far too rigid, and this rigidity inevitable creates some sorts of stagnation.

Leaders must imagine what can be and be willing explore alternatives with an open mind. They must also be adaptable when necessary, and communicate effectively, yet in a forthright and friendly manner. Humor is helpful in relaxing a leader, and in making him seem more approachable by others, and thus gives his point of view a better chance of being listened to objectively.

With over 30 years consultative sales, marketing, training, managerial, and operations experience, Richard Brody has trained sales and marketing people in numerous industries, given hundreds of seminars, appeared as company spokesperson on over 200 radio and television programs. He's negotiated, arranged and organized hundreds of events.

Richard's owned businesses, been a COO, CEO, and Director of Development, as well as a consultant. His company Website is, and he can be followed on Twitter @rgbrody. For great information on many topics, visit PLAN2LEAD's Facebook page and LIKE (

Source: EzineArticles
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