Leaders Bring The Weather
James Geiger is famous for a quote:
“Leaders bring the weather”
Research indicates that what contributes mightily to energy, focus, and commitment in the midst of change is simply how people feel. Your greatest source of power as a leader to sustain energy, focus and commitment is your influence over the way people FEEL. You bring the weather.
A lot of leaders do not like to discuss feelings or emotions in a business context. But how their people are feeling–and where they are coming from emotionally–has a game-changing impact on what they are capable of in the middle of high pressure, high stakes change. It is about sustaining their energy.
People are hard wired to achieve. Employees bring more energy and focus to leaders who can tell a compelling story about the journey that they are in or are embarking on. Where we have been, where we are now, and where we are heading… and why, are more than critical. Your level of commitment to the goal or destination and that it isn’t just another ‘flavor of the month is important as well. Most important though is your perspective. Can you help them connect the dots that they need connected to understand the why of the tasks ahead? Just how does MY work support the goal we all seek to achieve?
While we are on the subject of feelings… Another thing that is critical to energy, focus and commitment is simply getting positive feedback from your boss and peers. Comments from customers can really make a difference when appropriate. It is very important to celebrate those little wins… the kinds that come from hitting important milestones or that move the needle just a little in the right direction. Noticing forward momentum and how important it is can be done with things as simple as weekly team meetings or reviews. Questions like these can get the ball rolling:
- What progress did we make this week?
- What supported us and our work this week? How did it happen?
- What setbacks did we have this week and what can we learn from them?
- How positively did we affect our partners or clients this week? What are our plans to do so next week?
How equipped to bring good weather to your team are you?