Some people claim they can predict a weather change by their body aches. There is no doubt climate and environmental conditions affect us physically and emotionally.

Organizations have climate and environment that directly influence the ability to build people and develop leaders. Applied to governments, we can say a healthy climate or environment provides nurture and empowers our activities, programming, strategic planning, and vision. The result is healthy people and quality leaders that can transform society. Here’s a checklist of five key components for evaluating your leadership climate.

Clearly define the objectives
Societies and society leaders grow best in a climate of clear objectives. Outline clear objectives for each activity. This will provide a sense of direction, optimism, progress, anticipation and motivation.

Without objectives, activities lead to frustration, burnout, and confusion. People never learn to be intentional and focused in life and programming. The uncertain leadership schedules more activities and is likely to develop fewer leaders.

Establish clearly defined objectives and you will find that direction, intentionality, and purpose lead to effective leadership.

Develop gift-focused leadership
The practice of seeking willing volunteers rather than competent leaders is a mistake. People serving in their area of giftedness tend to be more fulfilled, contented and effective in life and programs. Helping people discover, develop and use their gifts in leadership has the greatest positive influence on both the person and the society. Quality and effectiveness of leadership increase.

Using assessments, discernment of leadership, experimentation, and confirmation of others, you can create a climate where people discover and develop their gifts.

Entrust people with significant leadership
Entrusting people with vital leadership, central to the society’s success and mission, creates a climate of high motivation and morale. People challenged by a task or cause bigger than they tend to rise to the challenge. They feel like owners, having responsibility and influence in the organizational mission.

This climate nurtures people willing to sacrifice for the good of the society. They desire to learn and grow. They work to increase their effectiveness and thus the effectiveness of the society.

Author Jim Belasco tells the story of Dr. Cooley, a famous surgeon. One day, he followed Cooley on rounds and, en route to the operating room, saw the surgeon stop to talk to a man mopping the hallway. The surgeon and janitor conversed for nearly 10 minutes before Cooley dashed into the operating room.

Curiosity rose, Belasco commented, “That was a long conversation.” Then he asked, “What do you do in the hospital?” The janitor replied, “We save lives.” To this man, mopping was a significant task. He was part of the life-saving team.

Creating a climate for building people means linking each person with a task he perceives as significant to the society’s success. Each person discovers he is valued for who he is and willingly gives what he has to advance the society’s mission.

Give visibility and recognition
When leaders recognize a person’s contribution, the entire society sees what is valued and learns from others. Through recognition, people gain the strength and courage to carry on in stressful and difficult times. They withstand hardship if they have experienced the joy and fulfillment of being recognized for past accomplishments.
Recognition communicates progress. It challenges and motivates people to achieve even greater things. It reinforces positive attitudes. In this climate, people come alive and interest grows in others who want to become part of the team.

What is your leadership climate? Is it conducive to building people and developing leaders? Most leaders can do better. Determine that you will create a climate that grows team members into effective leaders.

The leader’s commitment to invest in people, then releasing them to invest themselves in others, will be evident in people’s lives and society advancement. If you recognize this profile in the people to whom you lead, you know your commitment to invest is being effective.



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