Reading time – 38 seconds . . .
Without intending any slight if you live along the east coast of the US and can no longer see the street from your living room window, we’ve had a national obsession with winter. Yes, there have been lots of snow and cold temperatures and wind, but, really, if you live in New England, is that weather a surprise? Sure, there’s a lot of snow – perhaps record breaking amounts – but winters with a lot of snow are common.
We are obsessed as a nation with records, with extremes, with anything sensational. For example, now, even as our weather explainers mention the air temperature, they become googly-eyed over the wind chill. It’s a more extreme number, so they repeat it for the sensationalist, attention-getting shock value. They warn you about the need for safety, to cover exposed flesh, as though you’re too stupid to notice that it’s really cold. And when a storm is coming, it’s often highlighted with words like “the storm of the century,” which it nearly always isn’t.
We’re shown pictures of snow plow trucks, guys with snow blowers, big piles of snow, cars stuck in snow banks, streets with snow piled on both sides. Question: Who would imagine such images in winter? Answer: Everyone.
Here’s what that has to do with you in your leadership role. Think about how you react when you hear all the sensationalist words and see the waving of arms in the air and the predictions of doom. Are you distracted from other things that are truly important?
Well, your people will act the same way if you become wacko over something that may be urgent but really isn’t all that important and probably doesn’t require much attention. It is the leader’s job to be focused, to stay focused and keep followers focused on what is important. Otherwise, there’s no leadership at all and everything is – don’t get ahead of me here – just a snow job.
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