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When you think of those you have loved and lost, what is the expression we recall on their faces?

Correct - everyone I have ever asked this question of has said - 'a smile' or 'laughing'.

This is the value we put in kindness. The belief of those who knew us well is the photo album we save from the burning house. Smiles elicits a smile in response. Smiles encourage. Smiles change how people feel about themselves.

As a Leader, your genuine smile is one of your most powerful choices. Smiles defuse, engage and encourage. Add a 'nice to meet you', 'thank you' or a 'well done' to make it even better.


We are hit constantly with our inadequacies. I bet you cannot recall the number of times people have told you that you could do better, (even worse when concealed in the dreadful myth that a 'Shit-Sandwich' is the best way to encourage change).

We receive nine times more negative feedback than positive. Being positive is often seen a a missed opportunity to demand better.

I also bet you can count on one hand the number of people that have given you a smile, a well done and the positive encouragement that has changed your life; made you feel noticed; feel good about yourself and your choices.

As a Leader, try to own your expectations of others, put yourself firmly in their shoes. How will they feel the next time they take a risk? Getting the best out of your team is about them, not about you. Readjust your relationship with perfection.


It is not just a smile. Laughter is a collective activity. A meal we only enjoy with others; and we really enjoy it. Admirably summarised in verse by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, written in 1883:

Laugh and the world laughs with you;

Weep and you weep alone;

For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,

But has trouble enough of its own.

I make these points because recognition, kindness and encouragement are hugely missed opportunities in Everyday Leadership, in Organisational Cultures and in People Management Policies.

See more about the Anatomy of Everyday Leadership at

If you want to focus on the power of laughter as a team or as a part of a wellness or stress management programme, I suggest you contact my friend Sam Rehan at She will take you on a deep dive into the power of laughter.

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