I hope that this title has given you some pause. Back in Chapter 2, we discussed the second principle of leadership, which states that “being right requires follow-through.” This is what climate is all about — a leader taking action to demonstrate their commitment to their subordinates. How a leader deals with their subordinates’ successes and failures is tantamount to leading a sound and effective climate. The climate within an organization is much like the ocean tide. It ebbs and flows, and being able to predict these tides is a skill that all leaders must learn to master. In continuing with this ocean analogy, you could consider levels of leadership as the gravitational forces of the sun and moon which have effect on the tides. In my experience, the manner in which direction coming from the “top” of the organizational chain of command is not only accepted but is also understood depends heavily on “street-level” leaders. This is where climate comes into play. As discussed earlier, climate and culture are interrelated but separate concepts. It is important to understand the differences between the two. Fundamentally, climate is about tangible leadership, which can be felt and understood by both subordinates and peers alike. As a leader, you have a profound and direct effect on the climate of your agency by the environment that your leadership creates.
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