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Leading With Laughter  
  “The leadership instinct you are born with is the backbone.
You develop the funny bone and the wishbone that go with it.”

  — Elaine Agather  
“For a man learns more quickly and remembers more easily that which he laughs at, than that which he approves and reveres.”
—Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus)

René has successfully created programs for present and future leaders to realize and utilize the many applications of humor, as it relates to becoming more versatile, innovative, and well-rounded in their leadership roles. “I don’t just want to leave them laughing, but learning as well." The first and most critical lesson--the cornerstone of her presentations is: "Implementing leadership is not limited to titans of industry or political officer holders. We make leadership decisions throughout every day of our lives--in our families, our friendships, our communities, our churches, our schools, as well as our jobs. Sometimes in all these areas--at the same time. In today's society everyone is challenged to wear many hats--some that aren't the right size, style or color. Frustration is lurking--waiting to invite itself to live in your life, as an unwanted house guest and if left unsupervised, it will feed off your confusion, overload, fatigue and dissatisfaction.

"A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership of getting along with people, of getting things done."
—Dwight D. Eisenhower

Frustration will undermine your confidence, patience and resolve to grow stronger and stronger, overwhelming you. Soon you will find yourself held captive in your own life, tightly wound up and bound up by stress. Have no fear--the 'Laughter Squad' is always near! Engaging in laughter has documented positive health benefits, especially in the reduction of stress; therefore, you can be a more efficient employee, a more productive student, a more attentive care-giver and a more compassionate friend. You can use humor to become a better communicator, a more effective parent, a more understanding spouse, and a more inspirational leader in your community.

“Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.”
—George Bernard Shaw

In her Life Coaching seminar, "Help-My Inner Child Has ADHD!” she comically addresses the angst encountered by people who are trying to survive in an environmentally induced ADHD, warp speed, multitasking world. She encourages them to develop multiple personalities to delegate the multiple tasks. She exhorts them to remember: “You are the leader of the voices inside your head! You are the boss of your thoughts!!” She draws from her accounting career for presentations at corporate seminars, which include, “Increase Your Laughter & Increase Your Profits”.

“With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die.”
—Abraham Lincoln

Most notably, she has constructed a very popular interactive workshop for student leadership programs that inspires young leaders by giving them the knowledge and the tools to help enable them to, “Lead By Example & Laugh By Example”. Her goal in this innovative workshop is not to get future leaders to think out of the box, but to laugh out loud at the ridiculous notion of finding themselves stuck in a box! “Forget about the box, that’s so last millennium!! I want to challenge them to be exponentially creative ‘new millennium’, global problem-solvers and practice thinking ‘off the hook’ and have some laughs while they’re doing it!! She astutely and adeptly accomplishes just that. With audience participation, it is demonstrated that one can use humor in different aspects of business to become influential leaders. *This workshop is adaptable for corporate seminars.

Humor is a rubber sword – it allows you to make a point without drawing blood.”
—Mary Hirsch
  Lead By Example & Laugh By Example
Fun & Games: Audience Participation & Interaction

(Note: Some very cool prizes…I mean incentives are used to ensure enthusiastic participation!!)

Who Am I??:  A 15-20 minute ice-breaker where those in attendance interact with different people in an attempt to help each other uncover the leaders among them.

Can You Hear Me Now?:  Verbal communication and listening skills are necessities for being an effective leader.   However with the mobility afforded by the use of cell phones, the clarity of that communication is sometimes hindered and the listening impaired.

Follow the Leader:  You’re supposed to be the leader, but nobody wants to follow you.  What’s a leader to do? 

Body Language:  A leader may say what they mean and mean what they say, but is their body speaking a different language? 

CEO:  Leading doesn’t only mean just getting people to do what you want, but also allocating and maintaining human resources in the most productive manner. 

Taking Charge:  Group dynamics, teamwork and competition are addressed in this hectic exercise, where there is no designated leader.

Leader of the Pack:  Assembled teams or individual audience participants compete for prizes in a game show format, answering questions formulated from information presented during the “Lead By Example & Laugh By Example” workshop.

Mediation By Yo’ Mama:  Future leaders will have to be visionaries and establish new paradigms for dealing with old tensions and conflicts that continue to permeate and dominate our society.  With regard to conflict resolution, the visionary leaders in attendance will partake in some leadership “What if….?”  What if, instead of wars, all global disputes could be settled by a battle of “Yo’ Mama” Jokes?  Everyone dies of laughter, but no one gets hurt, that’s what!

Where You Lead:  A 20 minute Q & A and discussion wrap-up session to find out what was the value of participating in this workshop.  What was accomplished?  How can what was learned be practically applied to situations in the real world we live in—today and in the future?  Exploring ideas on how the information presented could be further expanded to encompass other areas/issues of importance for young leaders on today’s college campuses.  What significance were the interactive games to the leadership process?  This will be time for the participants to share any comments on what was their most/least important aspect of the entire experience. 

Note: This is an example of a full “Lead By Example & Laugh by Example” workshop presentation, which includes a “keynote” presentation and an entire slate of workshop exercises.  The amount of time for allocation necessary to efficiently and effectively complete this workshop should be 3-4 hours.  The time/duration of the presentation can be modified to suit the specific needs of an organization or event. However, it is highly recommended a minimum 2 hour time allocation be scheduled for the strongest impact.  The 2-hour presentation would consist of a 60 minute “keynote” presentation and a 60 minute “breakout” session.  The 60 minute “keynote” presentation highlights and emphasizes the essential concepts of the “Lead By Example & Laugh by Example” workshop and the 60 minute “breakout” session is a truncated version of the workshop exercises.  A 60 minute “keynote” presentation—without the workshop exercises is also available.

  © 2005 “Lead By Example & Laugh By Example” workshop  
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