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You Bring Your Weather

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Leaders bring the weather. Everyone brings weather. What kind of weather do you bring? Said another way, what shows up when you do?

Recently, a few friends of mine had an opportunity to take a vacation. The destinations of choice were Arizona, Florida and Hawaii. You can immediately recognize these as desired destinations for many people looking to escape the coldness and cloudiness of other places in the world. Certainly, there are many other places in the world people escape to when looking to get away.

These locations normally share one common element: Weather. Simply put, weather affects comfort. Weather influences moods and the way people feel.

The word “climate” is often used to classify different weather conditions. That same word, climate, is also used to describe workplace conditions. In other words, how does the office feel? Is there a positive climate or a negative climate?

Just like weather systems and geographical locations, you, too, bring weather with you when and where you show up in the world. That positive or negative climate in the workplace isn’t just happenstance. It exists because people make it happen.

It’s a byproduct of the people who are part of that system. Leaders bring the weather. Everyone brings weather. What kind of weather do you bring? Said another way, what shows up when you do?

This is a self-check question — and an important one. Think about your day, the meetings you attend, the people you meet and the work you do. Think about how you show up. Do you have a smile on your face or a frown? Are you a solutions collaborator or the person who always raises issues? Are you a problem solver or passive-aggressive? Are you “we” focused or “me” focused? Do you share and facilitate collaboration or roll your eyes in disgust?

How you show up matters because it’s a representation of your attitude. More importantly, when you’re a leader, people are always watching you. You’re always influencing, while others are always judging. Whether you want to or not, you’re affecting those around you.

We’ve all likely heard the sentiment that we can’t create every situation, but we can choose how to act in every situation. Tracey Arnish, the chief talent officer at SAP, has said, “Life is about perspective. The only thing you can control is how you choose to show up.” Indeed, and how you do that affects everyone in your path.

Next time you walk through the doors of your company or into a meeting room, ask yourself what’s showing up. Ask, “What kind of weather am I bringing?” Your attitude, conviction, and demeanor can be the difference between success or failure. And it will influence everyone around you. So always consider the impact of your weather and the climate you create.

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About Tim Rahschulte, Ph.D. (Full Bio)

Chief Executive Officer, The Professional Development Academy

Tim Rahschulte is the CEO of the Professional Development Academy and chief architect of the NACo High Performance Leadership Program ( He is the co-author of “My Best Advice: Proven Rules for Effective Leadership.”