Laughter. Heard from far down the hallway and as close as the office next door. Even in times of high work-volume and daily stress, there was laughter. At times almost too loud, sustained and well … we had to ask people to tone it down.
“People, tone down the laughter”. I wish for that to be my biggest challenge as a leader.
I can still hear the laugh of employees who left a year ago. Today, we renew our process of further job cuts and I am afraid the laughter will finally die. More friends are leaving and one, known for her smarts and, my goodness her laugh, will leave today and not return.
“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” ― Victor Borge
I miss her and her wonderful laugh already. In my memory her laughter will join a chorus of other team members, full of spirit and laughter. I do not want to forget and by closing my eyes and listening, I hear the laugh. It is the sound of us, together at our best.
Other leaders tell me that laughter is a bad thing in the office, especially for one serving in a leadership role. “It is not professional.” “You are not being serious and this is serious work.”
Bullshit. I want my leaders to smile, laugh and expect others to do the same. Be you, all of you and that is good business.
“The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.” ― Mark Twain
So we move on. For those who remain behind, we will laugh again. We need to laugh. It is a tool, a weapon to fight off the fear and void that threatens us. Our laughter will not be as loud and varied as before, but I will make sure it is loud enough to light our path.
“Laughter is the sound of the soul dancing.”
― Jarod Kintz, This Book is Not for Sale