I think a little context will be helpful. I recently found the deal of a lifetime on some Tide Pods at Walgreens and I had to buy them. While I was there, I was able to learn something incredible about leadership. I was talking with a guy named Herb – he was a retired construction worker who wanted to work for something to do. He was struggling to figure out exactly how to get me my order, and so his manager came over to help.

She guided him on how to properly process the order; however, she tried to use humor and teasing to lighten the mood. What was an attempt to create humor turned into a moment where trust was lost, and people were alienated. After she left, he was so upset that he nearly quit. It was at that moment that I realized how many times I’ve tried to connect or lead people with humor, sarcasm, and jokes. How many times have I lost influence or ruined relationships because of me trying to be funny?

Sarcasm and Teasing Are Building Blocks To Staying A Level 2 Leader

Level 2 leadership as outlined by John Maxwell’s 5 Level of Leadership is based purely on the relationship. People follow you because they like you. You have to get here to go beyond positional leadership, but if you stay there your organization won’t grow. If you’re leading from this spot, chances are you’re experiencing similar moments.

Ask yourself this question, have I been saying or doing something to the people I’m leading that in the moment seems great, but is actually hurting the people around you.

Let’s not just lead better, let’s lead right.