Leadership Is Mastering Atmosphere

For anyone to open their heart, they need the right atmosphere, and something to prompt them.
Jung Chang

For me, a landscape does not exist in it’s own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life – the light and air which vary continually. For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere with gives subjects their true value.
Claude Monet

Leadership is mastering atmosphere – which is a continually changing and mystifying invisible force. It’s the way we perceive emotion and what’s going on in a room, how we play out social awkwardity.. it’s how we relax or fnd ourselves tense.
Being a leader is about understanding what atmosphere is, how to create it, manage it and shape for the best possible outcome. This is not manipulation – simply recognising that all human beings have a ‘frequency’ that we sound best at.

Just like music being a balance of all it’s components – both sound, tone, rhythm, language and silence, harmony and dissonance.. so to is BALANCE the key to atmosphere.

Like a exceptional meal, atmosphere is not about creating and maintaining one stable, calm environment – as we so often tend to think of balance. That kind of balance leads to blandness, boredom and beige… in fact, mastering atmosphere is about procuring balance by bringing all the edges and fringe experiences to play. That is – to create a masterpiece of flavours… just like a truly enjoyable meal, the sweet, spicy, salt, creamy, crunchy, smooth, rich, light, acidic flavours must all be combined and played off one another to create something exceptional that opens the palate and senses.. the full range of taste, aroma, texture and enjoyment..

in the places we lead … this translates to understanding the necessity of peaks and troughs.. we desperately need to pull the flavours that reside at the edges to the centre, in order to create balance from the extremes. What are these extremes? Joy, quietness, excitement, grief, tragedy, seriousness, delight, conflict, romance, passion, fear, adventure, noise, colour, structure, flexibility.

You don’t create atmosphere, or manage it by simply pursuing what feels like a comfortable fit. Understand that your job as a leader is to engage in this changing environment and make a masterpiece of it – that opens the souls and hearts of those you are leading – to greater and greater experience and understanding.