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Lead With Humor

By Joey Havens

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Hand Mixer

When you get 40+ family members on a week-long beach retreat, you learn a lot about yourself and your family members (perhaps the understatement of the year). There’s always something hilarious that happens. That’s where I want to start with this year’s retreat in Perdido, Florida.

Our story starts with my younger sister Mitzi, Mom and Pop Joe staying in one condo together.
I am making mashed potatoes for dinner and I need one more big pot to boil potatoes and a hand mixer. The grandkids don’t like lumps in the mashed potatoes so I called Mitzi to look in their condo.

Mitzi: “Here’s a hand mixer, but the blades don’t want to go in. Wait, I think I’ve got them in now,” as Mom and Pop Joe have gathered around to help put the mixer together. “Let’s plug it in and see if it works. Stand back; I don’t want these blades to fly out and hit someone.” Mom and Pop Joe step back a few steps as Mitzi hits the on button. Nothing! “Dang, it doesn’t work.”

Mom: “Don’t you think you should plug it in first?”

Mitzi looks down and she is holding the electrical cord in one hand and the mixer in the other. Laughter can be heard from the first floor up to the seventh floor where we are staying. It got funnier over dinner as Mom shared the story over and over. Mitzi was a great sport and laughed right along with all of us.

Today’s story provides us with a big insight that can help all of us #beEvenBetter. First, Mitzi, in realizing how foolish she looked (you may have already assumed that as much but, rumor has it that she is not familiar with the cooking process or the utensils required), laughed right along with all of us. She didn’t take herself too seriously.

When we can laugh at ourselves, it makes us real and keeps us grounded and humble — as leaders and team members.

Even work can provide us with humor regularly if we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Humor makes stress run to the curb. Have you ever been in a stressful situation when someone said something funny or pointed out some funny aspect of the situation? It immediately lowers the stress in the room, helps people think more clearly and certainly connects us as humans. Let’s follow Mitzi’s lead and never take ourselves too seriously.

The mixer worked great when she plugged it in, and the blades held securely. In addition to being humble, she saved the mashed potatoes.

Mom, you can stop laughing now.