You lose when you lose your cool
I took great pride in watching Raymond Berry present the 2012 Super Bowl trophy to the New York Giants. Raymond Emmett Berry is a former wide receiver. He played for the Baltimore Colts during their two NFL championship wins. He later had a career in coaching, highlighted by his trip to Super Bowl XX as head coach of the New England Patriots. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
In 1975, when Raymond and his wife, Sally, graduated from my training in Detroit (at the time he was the back field coach for the Detroit Lions), he said, “Larry, your training helped me become more like a thermostat and less like a thermometer.” What does that mean? What does a thermometer do? A thermometer, if it is a good one, accurately measures the atmosphere and reports the temperature around it. Most people are pretty good at measuring and reporting the atmosphere around them. You can look at their face and see the kind of day they are having. Most of us have several thermometers we look at many times a day. My wife and I have three indoor / outdoor thermometers we look at several times a day – one in our bedroom, one in the kitchen, and one in the den. These instruments tell us the outdoor and indoor temperature. When I road my BMW 1100KL to Alaska, I enjoyed watching the thermometer drop as I climbed a mountain. As it approached noon in Tok, Alaska on the 4th of July, the thermometer climbed to over 90°, the warmest day I had seen since leaving Portland.
Thermometers inform us what to expect and how to dress when we go outside. Many of us have a thermometer on the dash of our car and one in our phone that tells us the outdoor temperature. Thermometers don’t change a thing! Thermostats, on the other hand, control the atmosphere. Your car’s thermostat controls the temperature of the engine. By opening and closing automatically, your car’s engine never overheats or boils over. An automatic thermostat in our homes and offices turns
on the furnace or air conditioning to keep our rooms pleasant within 2° of a preset temperature.
Empowering leaders have developed the rare ability to rise above circumstances; their happiness, their peace of mind, their joy is not determined by their circumstances, the atmosphere around them. Flat tires and burnt toast don’t determine or control their happiness. They have developed what psychologists call an internal ‘locus of control.’ They are more like the thermostat in your car. Regardless of the temperature outside or the load placed on their department or life, they remain calm, cool and collected. They have an above-average EQ – emotional quotient. They control their enthusiasm, commitment, and their excitement for life. This capacity is limitless, infinite.
To maximize performance, you must demonstrate self-control. Your team is looking to you for their example when the away team is winning, so keep your cool and win!
ENSURE 2013 STARTS WITH A ROAR!
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