Good Leaders: How are you handling your own bitter weather?

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This rusted shovel and ugly snow pile greeted me on the way out the door yesterday. Somehow, I need to find a way to stay bright and sunny.

This rusted shovel and ugly snow pile greeted me on the way out the door yesterday. Somehow, I need to find a way to stay bright and sunny.

As I write this blog, a Norman Rockwell-style snowstorm is pelting Delta flight #3502 heading for Austin, Texas.  We’re officially five days into springtime and the plane is stuck on the tarmac in a blizzard. We’ve been sitting here for two hours as they clear runways and de-ice planes. I’m not complaining…or cheerful.

With each passing moment my blood pressure has been rising…there’s a client meeting and a mission-building session waiting for me on the other end. And better weather. Will this winter ever end???

Trying to stay calm, I logged into Huffington Post to find out what’s happening in the world today.

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These ships are looking for debris that helps identify the whereabouts of the Malaysian Airlines flight that's gone missing.

These ships are looking for debris that helps identify the whereabouts of the Malaysian Airlines flight that’s gone missing.

Here’s what I found:

  • Brutally high winds and deep seas are making the search for the Malaysian Airliner extremely difficult, while the families suffer through fragments of news, mired in political posturing
  • Mudslide killed dozens in Washington State, with land still slipping away
  • Washington DC is digging out from a colossal blizzard
  • Earthquake cleanup in California
  • Obama’s still going tit-for-tat with Putin
  • Train derailment at Chicago’s O’Hare airport hurt many
  • Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico threatens wildlife and tourism, again
  • Paris is amuck, held hostage by an unprecedented smog ceiling
  • Mass shooting in San Francisco

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Presidents Obama and Putin are sparring ad nauseum in the news media over Crimea.

Presidents Obama and Putin are sparring with toxic rhetoric in the media over Crimea.

Enough. The news isn’t helping! Some days it seems as if Mother Nature and the caldrons of society are brewing up bitterness just for fun.

Last Friday at the Good Leadership Breakfast, I closed the program with these remarks: I believe leaders create the weather. No, not the outside weather. In this case “weather” is a metaphor for the mood, tone and culture by which we all live and work. There are so many reasons for the world to make us bitter – but good leaders know they can’t take that bitterness into their work. Each of us needs to take 100% ownership over our mood and tone, and find ways to be light and easy, and bright and sunny – no matter what’s going on outside.  Watch the clip here.

Little did I know that I’d have to practice what I preach so soon.

Good leaders learn success habits to cast off the bitterness that comes from a steady stream of oppressive news stories and punishing weather. And they find ways to create a mood and tone that is light and easy, and bright and sunny so people will continue to follow.

Our readers will appreciate hearing: How are you handling your own bitter weather today?

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6 Comments

  1. Beau on March 25, 2014 at 9:21 am

    So true. Very timely. Thank you for staying positive and passing it on. Enjoy Austin. Bring back some warmth for us.



  2. Beau on March 25, 2014 at 9:21 am

    So true. Very timely. Thank you for staying positive and passing it on. Enjoy Austin. Bring back some warmth for us.



  3. Shaun Irwin on March 25, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Interesting that you sent this during a time that it’s very top of mind for me. My brother passed away a couple of weeks ago and it’s been a couple of weeks filled with grief for obvious reasons, a 58 year felled by cancer is a bad thing, but at the same time we’ve been so grateful for the friends, relatives, neighbors and communities that he was a part of and that we’re part of.
    We basically checked out of the news cycle for about ten days and upon our return our ride asked us if we’d been keeping up with the Malaysia airplane disappearance. It turns out we didn’t and the drumbeat of the news echoing the parade of horribles and selling advertising went on without us.
    I was very much reinforced that filling our hearts and minds with positive messages can point us towards being better leaders.



  4. Shaun Irwin on March 25, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Interesting that you sent this during a time that it’s very top of mind for me. My brother passed away a couple of weeks ago and it’s been a couple of weeks filled with grief for obvious reasons, a 58 year felled by cancer is a bad thing, but at the same time we’ve been so grateful for the friends, relatives, neighbors and communities that he was a part of and that we’re part of.
    We basically checked out of the news cycle for about ten days and upon our return our ride asked us if we’d been keeping up with the Malaysia airplane disappearance. It turns out we didn’t and the drumbeat of the news echoing the parade of horribles and selling advertising went on without us.
    I was very much reinforced that filling our hearts and minds with positive messages can point us towards being better leaders.



  5. Paul on March 25, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Thanks for sharing Shaun, so sorry to hear about your brother. I totally agree with your observation that the bad news and the media will go on without us! So, we get to decide to stay happy and positive without it.



  6. Paul on March 25, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Thanks for sharing Shaun, so sorry to hear about your brother. I totally agree with your observation that the bad news and the media will go on without us! So, we get to decide to stay happy and positive without it.



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