Partly Cloudy or Partly Sunny – How to Energize Others

You see yourself as sunny. Others think you’re cloudy.

The way you occur to others and the way you perceive yourself are two different things.

When you look at the sky:

According to the National Weather Service, partly sunny skies are between 37% and 63% sunny. But partly cloudy skies are also between 37% and 63% cloudy.

Partly cloudy and partly sunny mean the same thing.

When you look at the sky, do you see clouds or blue?

If you spend 50% of your time focused on problems, you might think you’re a beam of light, but you’re cloudy.


You think you’re cheerful. They think you’re cloudy. People magnify clouds and minimize sun.

A short spring shower from you is a downpour to your team.

The mostly sunny leader:

It’s not about smiling, although smiling helps.

A leader worth following energizes people even when it’s raining.

How to be a mostly sunny leader:

  1. Let people know they matter. You don’t have to be bubbly. Just make people feel important.*
  2. Believe improvement and progress are possible with energy and teamwork.
  3. Find something good to say.
  4. See the clouds and choose the sun. Don’t ignore issues, problems, and challenges. But for goodness sake, see the good.
  5. Take action. Talk without action is a power outage. Focus on something you CAN do.

If you talk about problems 80% of the time and solutions 20% of the time, you’re a tsunami of energy sucking negativity.


Rate your interactions for a week with a + or -.

  1. Did you make someone feel important? Record a plus.
  2. Did you complain most of the time? Record a minus.
  3. Were you solution focused? Record a plus.
  4. Did you talk but not take action? Record a minus.
  5. Did you see a problem as an opportunity? Record a plus.

Review and adjust appropriately.

How might leaders better energize people and teams?

Bonus material:

How to Energize Colleagues* (HBR)

3 Qualities of Optimistic Leaders (Success)

5 Ways to Become the Optimistic Leader Your Team Wants (Insperity)