Leaders Should Be Thermostats – Not Thermometers

A Thermometer reads and reflects the temperature of a room.

A Thermostat reads temperatures so that it can make changes to the environment.

Thermometer Leaders read and reflect the temperature of their people and environment. If attitudes are poor or tension is high, then that’s what they reflect, which usually makes the problem worse. These are the leaders who often pour gasoline on a problematic fire instead of water. They run around crying out, “The sky is falling!” instead of calming themselves and others down, assessing the problem, developing a solution, and communicating the plan to those involved.

Thermostat Leaders set the temperature and continually monitor their people and production, which allows them to sense needs and make adjustments to keep things running as smooth and comfortable as possible.


  • Set the temperature daily – ensure everyone knows what to expect.
  • Track the pulse of things around you and make adjustments as needed.
  • Anticipate the problems and solve them – don’t create chaos.
  • When the unexpected occurs, let your brain take charge – not your emotions.


  • In what areas/situations am I more like a Thermometer than a Thermostat?
  • What are 2-3 things I can do better to become a Thermostat?


Written by Jesse Hardy

Helping you define and achieve success.

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