Last week I met a VP of product management we recently placed with a SaaS company.
One of my colleagues had insisted I meet her as he recommended her very highly. Apparently she had generated an excellent impression with clients and had received eight different job offers within just 2 weeks.
It was the best lunch I’ve had in ages. Although her resume was good, and she was obviously smart and hard working, what really made her special was her personality.
She was the jolliest, bubbliest, happiest person you could ever imagine.
Constantly smiling. Great sense of humor. Even having fun with the waiter, despite him actually getting her order wrong.
In fact, by the end of the meal she’d befriended half the staff and been given the lunch on the house.
You could see instantly why she’d been so popular whilst interviewing. I meet over 50 new people a week and even for me she was highly memorable.
All because of her jolly attitude.
Despite often coming with high responsibility, leadership doesn’t have to always be serious. In fact you only have to look at the likes of Warren Buffet and Richard Branson to see that often a jolly attitude can be just as powerful in leading others.
Here are some reasons why great leaders stay jolly.
It creates trust
Being jolly makes one more approachable. It gives others the opportunity and belief to communicate with their leader more easily.
And honest and regular communication is the fundamental building block of trust.
Great leaders understand that leadership is not just about executing plans on time and exerting control. It’s also about empathizing with others and being available to their followers whenever they may need them. Followers need to know that their leaders are human and can see the lighter side of life when necessary.
Great leaders are easily approachable.
It’s more fun
We spend most of our lives working. It makes sense that we are more likely to achieve more and feel fulfilled if we enjoy what we do.
Historically, the work place has traditionally been considered a serious place. High pressure board meetings, office politics, even rewarding hard “grafters”. It’s almost as if leaders often need a steely exterior to succeed.
Great leaders break the norm. They realize leadership through authority and seriousness isn’t necessary and nowadays is becoming outdated. They stay jolly and their positivity is infectious. It creates a culture everyone wants to work in.
Great leaders have fun.
It builds confidence
Staying jolly and keeping positive is powerful during testing times. Whilst the natural reaction is often to spiral into negativity, seeing the brighter side and having faith is sometimes the only way to keep persisting.
History is littered with examples of great achievers who suffered extreme tragedy, only to keep their spirits up and march on to unbelievable success.
Beethoven started going deaf at 26 years old but immersed himself even more into writing great music. Stephen Hawking to this day continues to push the boundaries of science despite being unable to write, speak or walk.
Great leaders understand that even failure gives up when confronted with a positive mental attitude. By staying jolly, they deal with adversity and grow in confidence.
Jolliness is self-confidence that everything will eventually be OK.
Life’s too short. We might as well enjoy it.
Hiring managers can gain much from those people who are passionate about what they do, but also are fun and jolly to be around.
Whose the jolliest person you know?
If you are a hiring manager and want to hire outstanding people, please reach out here