Leading with Love and Laughter Book Summary - Leading with Love and Laughter Book explained in key points
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Leading with Love and Laughter summary

Zina Sutch and Patrick Malone

Letting Go and Getting Real at Work

4.3 (150 ratings)
19 mins
Table of Contents

    Leading with Love and Laughter
    Summary of 6 key ideas

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    Great leadership requires love.

    Love is present in some parts of our lives but it’s completely absent in others – especially leadership.

    Even though the words love and leadership aren’t often found together, in a 2012 Forbes article, leadership author Mike Myatt posits that great leadership rarely exists without love, and that usually where leadership fails, love is lacking, misplaced, or misguided.

    Love is complex and requires comfort with the unknown. Unfortunately, many leaders prefer the comfort of the habitual patterns of leading and opt for established processes and predictability. It’s easy, but it’s not love. And teams notice that. In fact, there’s a strong correlation between workplace emotions and the wellness and engagement of employees; where there’s a lack of love, organizations underperform.

    The key message here is: Great leadership requires love.

    Of course, you know what love is, right? It’s a common enough concept, after all. But if you’re going to apply love in your leadership, perhaps it’s worth thinking about what it actually is. The ancient Greeks took a philosophical view, classifying love into seven different types of love including eros – physical, sexual love; storge – the unconditional love you feel for your children, parents, and siblings; and philia – the love that exists between friends.

    But the type of love that you especially need in leadership is philautia – love of yourself.

    Philautia is probably the love that matters most not only to your leadership, but also to your life in general. If you don’t love yourself first, you can’t really love someone else. You need to be able to forgive, nurture, and be kind to yourself. In order to lead – and to love – your team, you need to recognize your own worth, respect yourself, and show yourself compassion. Loving yourself means accepting who you are, and not being afraid of failing or taking risks; you’re open to growth and self-development.

    So why should you worry about love in your workplace? Research by Dr. Fiona Beddoes-Jones, founder and CEO of Cognitive Fitness Consultancy, showed that 65 percent of participants thought love was lacking in their workplace. And it’s worth noting that a massive 95 percent said they’d work harder for an organization that really cared. Eighty-three percent thought that managers should be given training in how to love their staff.

    Beddoes-Jones defines that love as consisting of compassion, caring, and kindness. Your team members probably deserve that from you, don’t they? After all, we all need love – in every aspect of our lives.

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    What is Leading with Love and Laughter about?

    Leading with Love and Laughter (2021) explores how a love-and-laughter approach to leadership can lead to better team performance, improved morale, trust, creativity, and improved health. It provides the information needed for leaders to show love and to navigate the potential problems of humor in the workplace.

    Who should read Leading with Love and Laughter?

    • Leaders who want to show their team some love
    • Laughter-lovers who want to bring humor to the workplace
    • Managers looking for new ideas to get the most out of their team

    About the Author

    Zina Sutch is a faculty member in the Key Executive Leadership Programs in the School of Public Affairs at American University where she teaches leadership, team-building, and succession planning courses. Previously, she taught in public and private schools, served as director of a school for students with emotional and behavioral disorders, and was deputy associate director of the Office of Personnel Management.

    Patrick Malone is an executive in residence at American University and is also the director of the Key Executive Leadership Program. He worked in the health-care industry after graduating and later joined the Navy as a hospital administrator before retiring after 23 years of naval service.

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