Be a Thermostat Not A Thermometer



Great leaders rise up in times of uncertainty. Those we lead look to us to provide direction, support, clarity, and hope. They need us to BE A THERMOSTAT, not a thermometer. A thermostat influences the environment, a thermometer is influenced by the environment.

Here are some things we can do to be a thermostat.

  • Focus on Our Circle of Influence – Act on the things within our control instead of worrying about the things we cannot control.
  • Be Confident – It’s OK to feel doubt, but act confidently. That’s what is expected of us as leaders.
  • Think Critically ­– Ask: What do we know? What do we think we know? What do we know we don’t know? What do we need to know? We must challenge our assumptions and respond to facts, not fears.
  • Talk! – Conversations create Connections. Connections create Trust. Trust creates Performance. We should have frequent, meaningful conversations with those we lead. Yes, we should talk about the business, but it’s more important to check on them and their families. This is an opportunity to create what Simon Sinek calls a Circle of Safety for those we lead.
  • Be Positive – Being positive is not ignoring the challenges that may lay before us; it is focusing on what we can do instead of what we can’t do, seeing the silver linings, and accentuating the positive aspects of imposed change. Those we lead look to us for encouragement. The more encouraging we are, the more encouraged they will be.
  • Be Transparent – In uncertain times, leaders may think it’s wise to conceal concerns about the business instead of sharing those concerns with those they lead. When in doubt, we should err on the side of transparency. We should share all that we can. People tend to fear the unknown more than the known and will make up fictional stories in their own minds to fill gaps in knowledge. Often, those stories are more damaging than the truth. The more open and honest we are, the more those we lead will trust us and be willing to unify for the good of the team. The more they know, the more they can provide solutions. We should have frequent, open conversations with those we lead to clarify concerns, unify efforts, and build relationships.

So, rise up my friends and lead on!

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