The answer to the title of this blog post is obviously a resounding No! It is not right for a leader to joke with his subordinates while exercising his leadership function.
There are leaders who cannot help but make jokes at the expense of his subordinates; they love it when their audience laughs at their jokes. This is quite fun in the short run but as the leader does this every so often this becomes ineffective anymore. Until it reaches the point that the leader is not being respected any longer by his subordinates.
Does this mean that a leader must not exchange jokes with his subordinates? Not really, it’s ok for a leader to banter with his people but he must see to it that this is done in the proper environment. For example, during activities not confined to regular working hours wherein the leader becomes just one of the guys.
In that instance he can freely exchange jokes for so long as he wants. It makes him more human and more approachable when he does that. It breaks the barrier that separates his position from his subordinates and this also solidifies the team spirit of his office.
It’s not actually bad to joke around with your subordinates provided that this is done in the most appropriate situation. And provided that the jokes will not infringe on your honor and integrity and the honor and integrity of your subordinates. - Marino J. Dasmarinas