7 Funny Quotes With Serious Leadership Lessons
Entrepreneur and CultureIQ are searching for the top high-performing cultures to be featured on our annual list. Think your company has what it takes? Click here to get started.
Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training was both the best and worst time of my life. It was awful in the sense of pain and suffering, but also a blast (pun intended) because of that pain and suffering. What made the six-month selection course tolerable was having a sense of humor.
Let’s be candid, SEALs tend to have a sick sense of humor. I remember telling and hearing jokes in the middle of gunfights because, as a SEAL, you just don’t pass up the opportunity to tell a good joke (and if you can do it at your buddy’s expense, even better).
So, here are seven funny quotes that every entrepreneur should know, and their leadership implications:
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night. -- Steve Martin
Stating the obvious is painful if you’re on the receiving end. However, the deeper rooted issue in playing Captain Obvious is that there is a disconnect between what you expect people to know and what they actually do. In other words, a gap in knowledge sharing exists. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have had to put on the captain’s hat.
Solution: Share what you know with others such that your people are on the same page as you. Doing so will free up your time because they won’t have to be told anything -- they’ll just do.
My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them. -- Mitch Hedberg
Being authentic means adhering to your own values and beliefs and is crucial for leadership, but it is not leadership itself. It’s easy to preach authenticity while being anything but.
Authentic leaders modify their behavior to respond to the needs of their followers and the situation while remaining true to who they are. They produce results and meaning by being crystal clear on their unique differences.
Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes. -- Jim Carrey
Arrogance ain’t cool. In fact, an overbearing ego is probably the quickest way to turn outside interest away from you and towards something more fascinating, such as watching traffic. The most effective leaders are those who learn to self-manage and be open to feedback, hear others’ ideas and embrace the idea that maybe -- just maybe -- there actually are smarter people in the universe.
Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do. -- Isaac Asimov
There’s a fine line between confidence and conceit and indecision and exploration. Knowing your boundaries is paramount to leading effectively. Overconfidence can lead to complacency if one’s arrogance gets the better of him, and indecision can be masked as an “exploratory phase” to avoid appearing weak in others’ eyes.
Strong leaders know when to “slow roll” and when to defer to the experts.
Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive. -- Elbert Hubbard
When stress builds and you’re at wit’s end, just remember one thing: it can always be worse. Always. It pays to have a sense of humor for two reasons. First, it tells other people that you’re somebody who doesn’t get flustered under pressure. Second, when you look for the humor, you create emotional anchors to those stressful situations.
An anchor is an emotional imprint spurred by memory that puts you in a happy (or bad) mental place. If you can anchor yourself to humor in times of havoc, your brain will begin to associate stress with positivity rather than trepidation.
I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade ... And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party. -- Ron White
Successful entrepreneurs go above and beyond in everything they do. They know that without the right skill and will to achieve their goals, there won’t be any “extra” in their “ordinary.”
Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else. -- Margaret Mead
At the end of the day, just remember one thing: you’re never too good to take out the garbage.
Having a laser-like focus towards earning a profit coupled with a steadfast will to win are only as good as the purpose that drives them -- and driving gets old. Humor helps to keep things fresh and recharge the entrepreneurial batteries to keep you on the road to business domination.