A leader’s mindset that is optimistic, trusting, friendly and open will create better team engagement and team performance than a leader who is moody, gloomy, disinterested, and self-serving. It takes self-awareness for a leader to determine who they are at that moment, and who they need to be at that time. A simple and effective personal mantra is the following:
When you are sunshine, light winds and blue skies, your team will be optimistic and look for opportunity. Intrinsic motivation will increase and team autonomy towards high performance will follow. But when you are thunder, rain and lightning, your team will withdraw and keep their heads down. They will not suggest much nor contribute more than they have to. You will get compliance at best. Any initiative, improvement suggestions and innovation are a distant pipe-dream.
You are the weather. It is a mental picture easily remembered. Invoking it can cause an instant shift in mindset. Yes, you will have days where you feel like thunder and lightning. How often have you faced others with an overcast and rainy mind? I have.
But leadership is a choice, and you can choose your weather. Three simple steps: assess the weather of your mind, choose sunshine over thunderstorms, and face your team.
These Covid days our collective resilience muscles are often strained from overuse. A leader’s mindset will spread like weather. If you see dark clouds and battering rains showing on a junior leader you are coaching in your organisation (or even a senior!), remind them of this phrase. You’ll be a ray of sunshine if you do.