Calm Above, The Storm Beyond: Leadership Lessons from Nature’s Duality
To exist between two different states yet hold the balance — this is the power of a leader.
Tonight, I had the privilege of witnessing a remarkable juxtaposition of nature that made me pause and reflect on its allegory to human experiences, particularly in the realm of leadership.
Sitting on my back deck, I felt the air crisp with the tranquility left by a cold front. The sky was a celestial mural, clear and serene.
But as my eyes traveled toward the horizon, a spectacle unfolded — a storm raging, its lightning sketching electric poetry across the sky, punctuated by the distant drumming of thunder.
What struck me was the close proximity of these two starkly different experiences: calmness and turmoil, peace and chaos, existing almost side by side.
This duality is often mirrored in us, complex beings that we are, and notably manifests in leadership roles.
The Personal Front: Calm Amidst Chaos
Leaders, by their role, have to be the still point in a fast-turning world. They’re often the calm sky that teams look up to when the horizon is stormy.
It’s crucial for a leader to maintain a composed demeanor, to think clearly and make informed decisions, especially in high-pressure scenarios. But that doesn’t mean leaders themselves are devoid of turmoil.
The stress, the responsibility, and the constant need for problem-solving can be the distant thunderstorms that others might not immediately perceive.
The first step is acknowledging that it’s okay for that storm to exist; it’s human.
It’s our very nature to exist between seemingly incompatible states — between the calm and the chaos. To accept this duality is to have true insight into our abilities as leaders.
The second, more crucial step, is to not let it cloud the calm sky you project. Leadership requires the emotional intelligence to manage your internal climate and ensure it doesn’t lead to a downpour on your team.