How do you handle Mother Nature whiplash?

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This was the crazy (beautiful) scene out our picture window  last week.  Mind you…it’s April.  Mother Nature toys with our emotions for sport.

Bloomington, Minnesota is my home. Every morning, I begin the day with meditation and prayer facing east through the living room picture window. It’s a joy to peer through the charming Hard Red Maple tree to take in Mother Nature’s sunrise. But in April, she can really yank my chain.

When I talk Minnesota weather with my California friends, they lecture: “you choose to live there.” Yes, we live here for many good reasons.  But honestly, the weather is ridiculous. Mother Nature toys with our emotions for sport.  Especially in Springtime.  Especially THIS Springtime.

Websters dictionary defines “whiplash” as an abrupt snapping motion or change of direction. That definitely describes the mood of anyone who has endured the past ten days here. A week ago Thursday, I flew home from a speaking and coaching engagement in Austin, Texas, (84 degrees) and I was greeted by a 62 degree temperature drop. Not only was the temp 20 degrees below Minnesota normal, it was also snowing. I’m talkin’ Norman Rockwell blizzard snow. In April! The next morning, my neighbor had to help me snow plow my driveway so I could drive to the Good Leadership Breakfast. By contrast, last year I had already played 11 rounds of golf by April 19.

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72 hours later, this was the scene from our picture window. The weather whiplash in Minnesota is exhilarating — and also exhausting.

We endured another 4 inches of snow the following Monday…and then we had “an abrupt snapping motion and change of direction.” Within 72 hours the temperature hit 70 degrees and the golf course opened.  Sure, it was exciting…but Mother Nature’s whimsical whiplash is both exhilarating and exhausting.

I believe leaders create the weather. Not the Mother Nature kind of weather, but the climate by which we operate. Living in Minnesota is good training for how to remain emotionally stable and consistent in leadership. This past week has been an abrupt change of emotions for me in my leadership, very similar to the weather whiplash.  It’s not always easy to maintain a consistently positive climate for people to work together, give their best and grow. Sometimes, abrupt changes with staffing, customers, competition or strategy can cause emotional whiplash. Regardless of where you live, leadership is a lot like April in Minnesota.

Good leaders make a habit of staying in tune with the climate they create with their leadership. And they do their best to stay calm, strong and confident in all types of weather.

So how do YOU handle Mother Nature’s whiplash?[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

1 Comment

  1. The Weather | wHolistic Change Inc. on May 13, 2013 at 4:03 am

    […] you know about the quixotic weather we’ve had this spring!  I really appreciated this blog post from Paul Batz about handling Mother Nature whiplash.  In addition to discussion of many inches of […]



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