January 19, 2018


Project management advice, tips, tools and recommended resources for existing and aspiring project managers.

Leaders Must Adapt To Change

Leaders Must Balance The Temperature


By Tom Atema

Leaders deal with the future, they see a better tomorrow, so they care for today.

This kind of mind and purpose means leaders must adapt to the temperature of today in order to meet the new challenges tomorrow. Today’s leader has to set the leadership thermostat so they are able to adapt to the fast-paced challenges that come their way almost hourly. Today’s challenges bring us into unchartered territory, a place where no one has ever been before.

However, two things are becoming very clear. This is where leaders must take note.

First, any organization that is built on/or operates solely from top down (you do as I say) leadership risks failure. Today, the rules of how an organization is led have changed, like it or not. Today organizations have to move, adjust the organization thermostat to meet the challenges of today. As the thermostat of the organization is moved, change will be needed; a dumping of old habits and the reshaping of how people interact with each other inside the organization has to change or be reshaped. Today the role of each employee has been redefined; each one is a leader and has to be allowed to lead. Top leaders must equip employees with character, skill and thinking formation. All three are needed because they set the environment of the organization. If the heat is too low people get very comfortable and will not make difficult decisions on their own. If the heat is too high, they will jump ship for cooler water.

Second – any organization that believes they can do what they do in a vacuum is done. The truth is we must hit the thermostat and balance the temperature of the organization with others and get out of the “one organization can do it all,” which has placed way too many in the “auto-pilot” mode. Some organizations that have done so have seen some parts of their organization die. And probably the parts that die should have done so years ago! In today’s world, if organizations do not partner, drop their egos and logos, and change the way they operate, they will not last.

After all, if we do today what we did yesterday, we will stay in the mess tomorrow because of the mess we created yesterday.

These are the best of times! Why? Because without the high temperature and the urgency this worldwide crisis has produced I don’t think we would have the heart or the stomach to make the necessary adjustments, the very hard calls that will make us more effective tomorrow.

So LEADER, keep your hand on that thermostat –keep adjusting it to the times.

Related article on Leadership, “Vision Requires Logic And Emotion

Articles on Project Management: “Project Management’s Golden Ratio


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