You’re Joking: Leadership and Humor

  • Joe HEATH Embassy in Georgia
Keywords: Leadership, humor, stress, communications


This article was compiled from Dr. Heath’s dissertation literature review on leadership and humor. Excerpts from the review are used tosummarize the connection between leadership and humor.The diverse nature of leadership makes it an easy target for humor. Although leadership affords a rich resource for humor, it has beenhistorically viewed as a very serious enterprise that demands a sober demeanor. Additionally, when improperly applied, humor can havea very negative effect on a leader’s image and credibility. Thus, the use of humor has been discouraged.However, research has found humor to be more than just funny stories, puns, or physical pranks; it is a complex, multifunction leadershipskill that can, if properly applied, reduce stress, improve leadership effectiveness, enhance team building, augment communication,spawn imagination, and advance organizational culture.For the most part, leadership studies have consigned humor to the role of an unwanted trespasser, but those who practice effective leadershipknow better. Current research is revealing that humor should not be considered a threat to leadership but rather a valuable resource.

Author Biography

Joe HEATH, Embassy in Georgia
Probation Advisor in Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement
How to Cite
HEATH, J. (1). You’re Joking: Leadership and Humor. Journal in Humanities, 1(2), 15-20.