19.2 Laughter for Productivity

Are you driven to be the CEO? Are you already a boss, or supervising a team? Whether you’re a teacher, a manager, or the head of a company you are the leader, and you’re responsible for creating the right work environment for optimized success. While making sure you and your team reach your goals is a serious topic, did you ever consider that you don’t always have to be serious to achieve them? Here is some food for thought, on where laughter and productivity meet.

Sure, in school we probably always studied hardest in the classes we were scared of the teacher – Teacher A.. We wanted to avoid detention, or were terrifeid of getting called on in class without having read the chapters for homework the night before. We were petrified of being called out for not performing, so we never messed with that teacher– and their course work. Alternatively, there was always Teacher B, that teacher we loved; the teacher that made us laugh regularly, and rewarded our good behavior with gold stars and extra credit points. While we knew we could always go to this teacher with questions and for help, we also probably always wanted to impress this teacher the most. More than wanting our parents to be proud of us, we wanted this teacher to be proud of us– and we probably didn’t want to move on to the next grade when the school year wrapped up. Most importantly, this was the grade you likely excelled in — the light hearted, respectful, and safe environemtn created a place where you were comfortable, and able to focus on excelling, not defending yourself from Teacher A’s humiliation.

Jumping forward almost two decades, not too much has changed – only we are in charge now. Do we want to be Teacher A or Teacher B, in our workplaces? Do we want to lead our teams with might and sternness, or through a human and light approach? Do we want our employees to do well out of fear, with little to no loyalty to us– or do we want our employees to run the work marathon to success, with us… in it for the long wrong, committed to the team, and doing their best job possible because they feel ownership?

While there is no one-way to lead your projects or company, Jewish Wisdom reserves a very special place for creating happy, light-hearted places for productivity. For some leaders like Rabbi Raba (Talmud), its by cracking jokes at the beginning of the day, for others, its celebrating every employees birthday throughout the year, buying donuts for the team every morning, or even having quarterly staff bonding days. Either way, the lesson remains, laughter has huge value for success in our tradition, and its up to you to decide how to use this tool for your success, in a way thats authentic to your goals and leadership.

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