I love the summer!
Living in the northern hemispheric city of Boston, Massachusetts USA, the summer months are a welcome, warm, and sunny contrast to the late Fall, Winter, and Spring months when things get cold, damp, quiet, and ugly. The summer means that our days are longer, the trees are at their greenest, flowers are in bloom, the grilling is at its peak, and life abounds everywhere.
We can open the windows, wear sandals, splash around pools and water fronts, and enjoy the outside.
In a word we are more free to experience and do so many things.
With that freedom comes a very different attitude in these parts. We all seem, well… cheerier.
And as you all know to be true: moods and attitudes are contagious. I call this my “mood-and-‘tude” theory.
And so, as we crest into the summer of 2010 with the natural corporate “breather” that occurs in the summer months, I’m reminded of how corporate moods and attitudes change throughout the season for those of us in seasonal areas.
And with my domino-effect brain cycling through the scientific correlation of weather and mood/attitude, I of course consider how much a leader impacts his or her followers by applying my “mood and ‘tude” theory.
We all know this, but do we really KNOW this?
So, how much do we consider how our mood-and-‘tude impact those around us? Though I often focus on corporate or public leaders, this specific consideration also lends itself to parenting, the most important leadership role a person will and could ever have.
To illustrate the “mood-and-‘tude” theory in an example, let’s go to my favorite and most basic instance of what works well with strong leadership and what becomes an obvious and fast disaster with weak or misplaced leadership: the world of sports.
Now I’m not necessarily a sports fanatic, but given my extreme passion and loyalty to the topic of leadership, it would be impossible for me to disregard the canvas that sports provides leadership lessons on which we can view on a daily (or at least) monthly basis. (Forgive the excessive focus on American sports for just a moment, it’s my best area of knowledge…)
Sports and the Individual
We have sports for the individual player such as tennis, golf, figure-skating. In the individual-sport category, my “mood-and-‘tude” theory relates almost exclusively to the individual player’s “mood-and-‘tude”.
We saw dramatic evidence of this with John McEnroe during his hey-day, we also saw a different version of this recently with Tiger Woods, and we saw a bizarre example of this in the Harding-Kerrigan rivalry and subsequent management of “mood-and-‘tude.”
Their choices as leaders in their sports impact not just how the world perceives them as players, but also how the world perceives the sport in general. In these and other examples, the “mood-and-‘tude” theory becomes quite powerful. (By the way, you can look to recent examples of Venus Williams for more tennis impact and ANY year of the Winter Olympics for more figure-skating impact).
Sports and Individuals on Teams
Next, we have sports that focus on the individual talent that eventually impacts a team, such as basketball, baseball, and soccer. Here my “mood-and-‘tude” theory relates to the individual personalities. These could be either based on talent (e.g.Michael Jordan) or based on sensationalism (e.g. Dennis Rodman). These two basketball examples give a great look at polar-opposites in a single sport.
Their choices as leaders in their sports impact the popularity of the sport, the individual, AND the team.
By the way, this is true for almost any situation where the “mood-and-‘tude” of one person can impact so much. Consider how many people watch SNL on a Saturday night with a popular host, or how many people listen to a morning radio station just for the morning personality and “morning team.”
Most recently we saw my “mood-and-‘tude” theory all over the FIFA WorldCup events, where favorite teams were often picked based on individual players or even the coach (e.g. Argentina) (sorry, Argentina…).
Mood and ‘Tude in Your World
In today’s world, empires and economies are built and torn down based on “mood-and-‘tude”. Though my theory isn’t trademarked or scientifically proven, I would wager a guess that you could apply it to several areas beyond sports and prove that these are two contagions that can impact a workplace, shape a populous, or even change history.
How does a leader’s “mood-and-‘tude” impact you and your team at work? How is public servitude impacted by a leader’s “mood-and-‘tude”? How do YOU shape and influence a group of people with YOUR “mood-and-‘tude?” I would love to hear your thoughts or stories!
Image Sources: i37.tinypic.com, bostonaptz.com, bullybloggers.files.wordpress.com
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