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Leadership Lessons from The Jim Gaffigan Show

If you haven’t already seen it, The Jim Gaffigan Show—just starting its second season on TVLand—is a treat. It stars Gaffigan as a fictionalized version of himself—a standup comedian, husband, and father of five living with his family in New York City. Misadventures center on domestic topics, the temptations of food (a frequent topic in Gaffigan’s own standup routine), and interactions with a variety of characters.

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Along with the laughs, there’s a sense underneath it all that these are people who know how to make life work well. And with a large family living in a two-bedroom apartment, that’s no small achievement. How they make that happen, while never set out didactically, is worth considering for anyone in charge of a team or organization. Here are a few examples:

Lead Like a Dad—Whether You Are One or Not

As someone who’s both a leader and a father, I find myself drawn to think about the parallels between those two roles—especially around this time of year, when Father’s Day calls us all to think about the importance of fathers and the contributions they make to the lives of those around them.

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Naturally, there are some obvious distinctions between the two. The bond between parent and child goes much deeper than any connections of leadership, however close. And there are issues of control and accountability in parenting that don’t apply—at least not in the same way—in leadership.