Spotlight on Clayton Fletcher
Clayton is one of our featured speakers at the Global Brand Convergence® streams, November 29 at 8 AM ET
With his recent book just out that he co-authored with Steve Cody, “The ROI of LOI”, stand-up comedian Clayton Fletcher is someone we can all learn from…how to be funny at work!
Here sharing some of his insights about his new book and skill sets we can all develop Clayton shares his delightful perspective:
Q. In your book, The ROI of LOL you discuss the importance of humor in the workplace.
What are the most essential reasons that humor is so important in the workplace?
A. At a time when employee engagement is at an all-time low and the future of
work is evolving before our eyes, laughter is needed now more than ever to build
camaraderie and morale among teams, humanize leadership, and help us all
relieve stress every day.
Q. What are skills that leaders need to develop to be able to tell a joke and convey
humor in leadership?
A. The comedy skills explored in The ROI of LOL are less about joke telling and
more about charisma, storytelling, and authenticity. Modern leaders are required
to be open, truthful, expert communicators. So are today's comedy performers,
so the skills translate nicely.
Q. What’s an example of how humor can improve an outcome for a leader?
A. There are dozens of examples in The ROI of LOL, but no better case study than
my co-author himself, Peppercomm CEO and PR legend Steve Cody! In the 15+
years I have spent helping Steve improve his comedy skills, I've also seen him
greatly improve as a leader. In one hilarious tale Steve shares in Chapter Seven,
he was pitching Peppercomm to a potential client who was thoroughly
unimpressed, calling our big idea "glib and superficial." A key tenet of comedy is
acceptance, so rather than defending the idea or arguing with the prospect, Steve
went along with the insult, reminding the prospect that his customers weren't
exactly members of Mensa. The prospect was stunned, but he eventually agreed.
"What a great idea, to meet the target audience right where they are!"
Peppercomm won the business, partly because Steve had learned to say "Yes,
and..." from doing comedy over the years. To my co-author's credit, he
remembered his comedy lessons amid a high-pressure moment, right when he
needed them most. To this day, we still love to joke about our various ideas and
works being glib and superficial. In fact, he'll probably say that about this profile!
Q. As a standup comic, what are things that you have learned over the years to improve
your ability to convey humor and tell jokes?
A. The number one thing to remember is to tell the truth. Audiences don't want
jokes or fiction; they come to the comedy club hoping to meet real people with
interesting stories, opinions, and feelings. They expect to share them in
unexpected, captivating, and hilarious ways. After 20+ years of comedy, I have
learned to start with the truth and make it funny down the road, through trial and
error. Embracing all the little failures along the way is key.
Q. What are ways in which humor can be used effectively cross-culturally? What are
some of the things we need to be aware of in a cross-cultural environment when we use
A. The Afterword of The ROI of LOL was written by Dr. Malcolm Frierson of Loyola
Marymount University, who is a leading expert in the DEI space. The thesis of Dr.
Frierson's chapter is that DEI initiatives aren't failing, leaders are! A very funny
human who deals with very serious subjects daily, Dr. Frierson explores how
leaders and teams can use the comedy skills explored in the book to improve
results in cross-cultural situations and workplaces. He asserts,"When common
communication barriers between executives and employees are removed, it helps
create an environment of trust and cooperation." And there's nothing glib or
superficial about that.
For those of you who have not yet bought his book, you can find it at: www.roilol.com