When you read that title, you probably think of some really cool new app that helps you be a better leader. Something that is hosted in the infamous “cloud”. While that would make me appear to be uber-progressive and all, I’m not talking about anything of the sort. I’m actually referring to the voluminous fluffy wafts of water vapor in the sky that capture our imagination with visions of dogs, elephants and other random images.
What does this have to do with leadership, you say? How great is it when the clouds move away and you feel the warm light of the sun on your face. Cloudy days are depressing. Can the same be said about your leadership? When you “disappear” does it brighten the day of those you’re leading? Is your presence depressing for those experiencing it?
Chances are, this is directly related to your expectations of life, other people and the world in general. Cynicism and leadership don’t work very well together. Realism and cynicism aren’t the same. Realism can be approached with a healthy optimism without being a bit of a naive Pollyanna.
Leadership isn’t about finding the problems, it’s about finding the solutions. Of course, as leaders, we have to recognize the problems but we don’t have to let them govern our emotional default setting. Nearly everyone has a story or “reason” that has developed over the past 4 years from the global financial issues that can “logically justify” their frustration. That’s still no excuse for cynical driven leadership.
Leadership drives culture and culture drives engagement. Period. What kind of leadership development will your organization have if the picking grounds are replete with disengaged people? As leaders we peddle in hope and possibilities. We don’t sell rose colored glasses. We remove obstacles and reveal the possible.
Take some time to pay attention how people respond to your leadership. Instead of only focusing on whether they have a bad attitude, consider the possibility that you may be a cloud in a situation where they need a bit of sunshine. The needs of your people dictate your responsibility. Are you negatively affecting those around you with Cloud Leadership?