Discover the Rare Leader.

As with most blogs, you will find our most recent posting at the top in your current view.
On your first visit, begin with "What is the Rare Leader".
Reading subsequent postings under the archive section will allow you to "catch up" on the story of the Rare Leader.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Calm Before The Storm

Have you ever experienced the calm before the storm?  As I gaze out the window on the train, I can see the purple and black billowing clouds far away in the west.  But here, with my world re-sized by headphones and my laptop, there is a peaceful calm, punctuated by the occasional glance to my left, noticing the clouds becoming more ominous and near, as I reach my destination North.  I realize I need to make a contingency plan for my arrival, to make it to my car with my bags intact, and dry.  But then I turn my head back to my writing, and I am again  - calm.  
This Calm Before The Storm is a wonderful quality of the Rare Leader™, an important descriptive behavior of emotional stability.  Sometimes the employees, the customers, or stakeholders do not sense the storm ahead.  Perhaps they do not have the insights of the Rare Leader™ to see the storm clouds in the distance.  But if they did...would they...would able to be the calm before the storm for others?  Would you have made contingency plans for the rainy day?  
During my executive days at Baird, when Fred was President, he would enclose a personal note with each bonus check, thanking every employee for their contributions to the company success, delighting in the opportunity to share the rewards.  However, no matter how rich the rewards, he ended every note the same words of caution.  He would carefully advise us to “save some of this reward for a rainy day ahead, because some day it will rain”.  And indeed he was right.  And those who heeded his simple words of leadership again benefitted from his “calm before the inevitable storm”.
Sometimes the Rare Leader™ is not always the one to predict the storm, but is perhaps the one to sense it, or to accept the wise words of predictive knowledge from those he or she has chosen to trust.  
But, the Rare Leader™ is the one you chose to follow who maintains this unique sense of calm and Emotional Stability.  The Rare Leader™ has balance, poise, an ability to maintain a level course of direction through ups and downs, and knows when and how to apply their intellectual intelligence and maturity.
  1. When have you sensed a storm ahead in your organization?
  2. What contingencies have you set aside for the rainy day to maintain a level course?
  3. Who have you identified you will trust for predictive knowledge?
  4. Where have you proven to your Team you have poise and balance through ups and downs?
  5. How will you be perceived by your Team during the Storm?
If you want to learn more about the Rare Leader™ in you, 
or if you are interested in retaining Steve as your Executive Coach, 
Contact Steve Riege via: twitter, or his website.


  1. GREAT POST about composure. Really enjoyed it, and I will be back regularly! A lot worth browsing here... We seem to be of like mind - I post about "personal strengths" and leadership.

  2. Thanks Denny. I see many companies talking about Leadership Competencies, and they seem to forget about "Composure", emotional stability, and not only believing it yourself, but using it to lead others. Check out my next post on "War and Peace" and as you so correctly say using composure as a Leadership behavior.

  3. Excellent! Composure is a very distinct yet often overlooked competency. I think it gets all too often written off as a personality trait or style, but is is most definitely learned and a sign of well developed emotional intelligence.

    People in leadership positions can also unwittingly be the the cause of the "storm". For example, what seems like a simple request can turn into the proverbial fire drill. You have me thinking about whether composure is a skill that also contributes to naturally creating an environment in which people will speak up and ask questions and even challenge a request rather than just doing as they are told and then complaining about the seemingly "unnecessary fire drill" the whole time.

  4. Susan, Emotional Stability takes on many faces in a Leader, and the fire drill response you speak of, is one of the dangerous ones.

    I love your point about composure creating the collaborative environment. If your Team is built upon a foundation of reciprocal trust, the Emotional Stability of the Rare Leader will certainly encourage others to take ownership of an issue, fostering Team success.

    Many times, the 12 behaviors of a Rare Leader are most pronounced, when members of your Team also take on the competency as one of their own.