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Lead from the Top of the Mood Elevator

| December 1, 2009

by Jim Bruce

Today’s Tuesday Reading is the Conversation Starter by Larry Senn “Lead from the Top of the Mood Elevator” from Harvard Business Publishing.  Senn is the founder of Senn Delaney and an authority and practitioner in the field of culture shaping.

The key point of this piece is rather straight forward:  Almost everyone experiences mood changes throughout every day.  While most of the time we’re up (we hope), from time to time our mood drops and we are irritated and bothered, judgmental, impatient.  Senn points out that when our mood does drop, our thinking is less reliable and we do and say things we would never do in a higher mood state.

Senn goes on to point out hat a person’s thinking determines that person’s moods and creates the person’s reality and drives that person’s behaviors.  And then, referencing the work of Wharton’s Sigal Barsade and Fairfield University’s Donald Gibson, he quoted:  Leaders’ displays of emotions influence followers through emotional contagion:  “Positive, upbeat emotions of the leader are emulated by followers, resulting in positive outcomes.”  And, of course, the opposite occurs for downbeat emotions.

He gives five pointers to guide us:

1,  Become aware of your state of mind and use your feelings as your guide to the quality of your thinking.

2.  Take better care of yourself.

3.  Know your thoughts are unreliable when your mood drops.

4.  Maintain your perspective through gratitude and a sense of humor.

5.  Be aware of your leadership shadow.

You can learn more about the Mood Elevator at the Senn Delaney website.  


I think that you’ll find this material particularly helpful.  .  .  .   jim