Leading with Love and Laughter: Letting Go and Getting Real at Work

· Berrett-Koehler Publishers

About this ebook

Leadership has for too long been treated as a function and not as a relationship. Zina Sutch and Patrick Malone argue that successful leadership must be based on love (altruism and empathy) and laughter (positive emotions and joy).

Science tells us that humans are deeply wired for empathy and compassion and that our emotional selves help us make better decisions and motivate others. However, the tactics we use to train leaders bear little reflection of these advancements; we're still creating competent but emotionally distant leaders who “manage human assets” and lead by setting goals, deadlines, and deliverables.

Zina Sutch and Patrick Malone hope to flip a light switch and illuminate, above all else, that leadership begins with heart and soul. Too many training programs reduce leadership to an equation, matrix, or acronym. But leadership is a relationship. It's one human helping another. The most successful leaders show they genuinely care about their employees and are, well, fun. It's just like any relationship.

In seven succinct chapters, the authors show that people lead best when they tap into their genetically driven human nature to love and nurture, connect and trust. Leading with love and laughter offers powerful dividends: tighter teams, stronger performance, improved morale, greater trust, more creativity, and even better health. While Sutch and Malone cite the science and offer examples, tips, and practices, their larger purpose is to reintroduce the warmth of human interaction and emotion as the foundation of what leadership is all about.

About the author

Zina Sutch is a faculty member in the Key Executive Leadership Programs in the School of Public Affairs at American University. She was formerly deputy associate director of the Office of Personnel Management, the federal agency that manages the government’s 2.1 million civilian employees.

Patrick Malone is director of Key Executive Leadership Programs at American University and a frequent lecturer at Yale School of Management and the Fulbright Scholar Program.

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