Leaders are kinda like thermostats, they regulate themselves and set the temperature in the room. Leaders regulate. Normal humans simply reflect. They run hot and cold and like a thermostatic pendulum, tend to have wild swings from raging fevers to cold as ice. We tend to lose trust in the positional leader who operates like a pendulum. Remember, we humans want a leader who cares and does so from a state of equilibrium and uncommon poise. We do not give our best to the poser who swings from bully to buddy.

Humans, turns out, naturally reflect. Real, BTL leaders build a better nature, a second nature. These few, slowly learn to regulate themselves and then others. Trust deepens with this leader. Trust spreads throughout the system when teammates feel they’re being lead by a human who has mastered their emotions: not so much when teammates think their leader is simply a slave to circumstance and just as likely to blow up or blow it off. Humans, turns out, kinda like predictability when deciding where to give their committed best. Make sense?

Yesterday, one of my clients heard me describe the difference between a thermostat and thermometer. He really liked it. In fact, he liked it so much, he acted on his learning while I was still with him. Good. Really good. Virtuous leaders learn to regulate their own emotions while not absorbing the emotions of others in the room. This may sound easy. It is not. We all have work to improve our emotional intelligence here. If you think you’ve mastered this element, you may need a truth teller, better lighting, and a look in the mirror.

Virtuous leaders understand the power of emotions and are able to stay connected with loved ones and teammates without reflecting the hot/cold swings around them. Yes, this is another example of the power of being one, distinct and deeply connected. Do you see this? Virtuous leaders are emotional and feel life, don’t get me wrong. Virtuous leaders are not an emotion free zone. Virtuous leaders are thermostat’s. They regulate the room even when tempers flare or teammates are cold as ice. Which are Y.O.U.? How do you know? How would your team describe you? Who is helping you see your emotional blind-spots? Who helps you look in the mirror: out the window, not so much?

Tell me more, my friend. Tell me more…

1 thought on “Thermostats…

  1. Man, this was a hard read for me. I don’t think I swing like a pendulum. However, I do think I have reflected more than regulate. At work, I am not a “leader” by title. But nonetheless, a leader by example. And I need to work on some stuff….like not reflecting self limiting beliefs.

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