WHEN VIEWING ON A TABLET OR MOBILE -- DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM
5. Fun and Enjoyment
I often say in my speeches that if doing something in particular is not fun, then
it is not worth doing. The same goes for leadership. Leaders should bring a
certain amount of levity to the work that they do.
Being a fun leader means being energetic and enthusiastic. It means bringing
awe and wonderment to the workplace. People often say to me, “You always
seem to be so full of energy.” And I say, “I have to be; a broken spirit cannot
lift another broken spirit.” No one is interested in following someone who is
depressed or depressing.
Embracing this leadership quality also means being able to take a step back
and laugh at oneself. It means acknowledging one’s shortcomings (even in front
of children or colleagues) and not taking oneself too seriously. Another aspect
of being a fun leader is to bring fun to the workplace—to lighten it up. One
of the best ways to do this is with good humor. Joy and enthusiasm are conta-
gious, so it is important for leaders to be happy and upbeat.
Please note that I am not suggesting that you partake in fun and games all
the time. A good leader must be able to recognize when a sense of urgency is
necessary and when a sense of lightheartedness is appropriate. Sometimes, the
work is serious. Yet, most of the time, I’ve found that people can accomplish
tasks and goals while being playful and enthused by the work that they are
doing. For a field that places a high value on play, I am struck by how “play-
less” we can be as we go about our collective work.
6. Personal Renewal
Personal renewal is the act of revitalizing yourself so that you are able to give
your best to others consistently on an ongoing basis. The process of personal
renewal is important to being a great leader because it is through self-renewal
that a leader balances and manages the stress that is a constant in any position
of leadership. Without a means of renewal, a leader risks falling into the valley
of despair and hopelessness, thus rendering him or herself useless to the cause
of doing the right thing for children. A great leader must be capable of personal
renewal in order to quell the everyday inner conflicts that result from juggling
multiple priorities. You must keep your eyes on the prize and lead from behind
and in front.