Monday, April 13, 2009

Thermostat or Thermometer?

In life, change is either created by you or happens to you. Yet, your response to change is ALWAYS your choice. So the majority of the time, do you affect change or does change affect you?

Are you typically a thermostat or a thermometer?


What's the Difference?

Thermostats set the temperature of the environment while thermometers react to the environment.

As a leader, which best describes you most of the time? Are you mostly in control and being the thermostat? Are you allowing your boss, your circumstances or even your followers to set the temperature on your thermometer?

There are some leaders who don't want to 'rock the boat'. They spend most of their time polling their team members and their management. They are interested in pleasing others. If you were sitting next to them in church, you might over hear them talk to the person on their left who say, "Boy, it's cold in here today," "It sure is", would be their response. The person on their right might then turn and whisper to them, "My, my, it's warm in here today." They would respond by saying, "It sure is."

These leaders respond as thermometers. Someone, something, or some expectation is setting the temperature for them. Some are cold and distant because of circumstances and they choose to be closed and fearful. Others are hot and blistering because they believe that their circumstances warrant their anger and ire.

Living as a thermometer can leave you feeling frustrated, distant, or overwhelmed because your mind tells you that you "must", you "have to", you "need to" respond to the changing temperature in your life. What are the things that you believe that you "have to" do? (Go to work? Pick up the kids? Go to church? Do the laundry?) If your habit is to feel obligated and your mind gives you thoughts that you "have to", "should", or "must", you are a thermometer to your own thinking habits. These are just thought habits, however, that have been created in your mind which you are choosing to respond to and believe.

To read more, go to

No comments: