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Improv & Leadership

How do you face a challenge you weren’t expecting? How can you be present and truly lead in the moment?


It’s easy to believe that if you take your life or your mission seriously, the presence of humor betrays that mission. But leaders of all stripes know we can do serious things without taking ourselves too seriously. In fact, often we can do them better. Professor Jennifer Aaker and lecturer Naomi Bagdonas, MBA ’15, designed the course Humor: Serious Business to help students develop an appreciation for the role of humor in the workplace. Bagdonas calls humor “an underleveraged superpower in business.”


We often think that the best way to sell our ideas is by making rational arguments. Yet if we really want to convince others, we also need to make emotional appeals that tap into the brain's need for excitement, curiosity, and comfort. That’s one of the counterintuitive — or “frinky” — insights shared by professor Baba Shiv in this video based on his course Designing Solutions by Leveraging the Frinky Science of the Human Mind.

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