What’s your breath like? Go ahead check it right now.

Oh, I don’t mean the condition of your physical breath as it comes out of your mouth; I mean your leadership breath. Yes, your leadership breath as it comes out of you.

Like our physical breath, we exhale attitudes, feelings and moods to those around us. As leaders, these vibes send powerful messages about our personal condition, our priorities and our confidence in those we lead. I’ve seen leaders with one exhale of their leadership breath completely demoralize a team. Conversely, I’ve seen leaders with good breath increase the vitality of the organization in exponential ways. 

Just like physical breath, our leadership breath can either invite or repel those near to us. Our breath can inspire others or send them looking for fresh air. We’ve all experienced a conversation with another person who has bad breath; onion breath comes to mind. In these situations, we do our best to stay out of the line of fire (no pun intended) without embarrassing the person with the unhappy odor.

Can you smell my next question coming?

Have you ever wondered if people are trying to stay away from your leadership breath? Here are a few questions to ask yourself and maybe your team in the next week or so:

What is the general experience my team has when they get a whiff of my leadership breath?

Is it stale?

Is it disgusting (the whole onion breath thing)?

Is it fresh and welcoming?

So what can we do to freshen our breath?  Stay Tuned.