What's Your Perspective on the Weather?
How our personal forecast gives insight into our outlook
I realized I wrote this blog when I was home for a visit when it was cold out, and now that the weather is turning warmer I realized I better get this one posted!
I was fortunate to visit my parents last month while I was attending the Ohio Parks & Recreation Association State Conference as an exhibitor, and for me, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as being around the ones I love. One of my happiest places is right on their couch, with a familiar blanket from years past and an episode of Jeopardy on the TV.
That’s exactly the state I was in, wrapped up like a burrito when my dad asked me to go outside and help him to take the recycle bin to the curb.
“How cold is it out there?” I asked.
I already knew the answer—too dang cold. The window was frosty and showed a world of bluish-gray, and it looked miserable.
“It’s about nineteen degrees,” he answered.
Then he said something confusing and astonishing…
“Not too bad, really.”
Not too bad? Was he for real? - I can tell that moving to Arizona has impacted my view of weather.
Our Experiences Shape Our Perspective
Depending on where you come from, you may be nodding along thinking, yeah nineteen degrees is no big deal. Or maybe you’re screaming inside like I was, thinking that’s absolutely “too bad.”
Regardless of how you feel about the weather, nineteen degrees is the same for all of us. It’s the perspective we have about the weather that’s different.
My reaction was totally different from my dad. But when I saw his rosy cheeks and his positive attitude, it spurred me to action. Just like many times in my life, I wanted to be more like him for just a little while.
And, what happened when I entered the cold to help my dad? Nothing, it was fine, I dressed appropriately, wasn’t too cold, made my dad happy, and the household could rest knowing the recycle was ready for pick up the next day.
So what if you need to try something new at work or you have to repeat a task you did before and hated? Before your stomach starts sinking with dread, try to reframe your perspective.
In addition, when it comes to building yourself as a leader, keep in mind the more diverse experiences you have, the more you develop as a leader. And not only do more diverse experiences impact you, but those that are categorized as “crisis” or “challenging” sometimes have the ability to grow you even more as a leader.
The majority of your leadership development comes from experiences and not just experiences that fall within your comfort zone. I have a great time talking with leaders about this in the Leading With Agility workshop.
Take a tip from my dad and try to have a “Not too bad” mentality towards your next leadership challenge.