Great Leaders Recognize Culture Change Early

The Red Sun—You can’t miss it. You step outside and there is something distinctly different than what you saw yesterday. Not only can you see the red color in the sky, but you can also smell the change in the air that you breathe. Seeing this type of sky doesn’t require any super powers or scientific training. You don’t even need to tilt your head back and stare deeply to see what others see. Seeing the red sun sky is obvious. It’s red!

The red sun sky lingers and the days pass by. Then, this new sky begins to become part of your daily canvas. It becomes the backdrop from which you paint your daily routine. Your routine is important and there’s no time to change your habits now. And, there is no need—at some point the blue sky will return—it always has.

Weeks pass and the blue sky remains in hibernation. You realize that this might be something that won’t simply go away. You realize that you need to seek more understanding so you can make sense of this now ire red sun sky.


As leaders, we’ve all seen the red sun sky—we’ve sensed the change in the air that we breathe.

It comes in the form of cultural changes and requires immediate attention. And, we’ve probably waited too long to assess the situation and seek to find out why.

The discovery process is relatively easy and requires the ability to zoom out and zoom back in. When we zoom out we realize the boundaries of the red circle. Once we zoom out and identify how widespread the affected area, we then zoom in to determine the source and how to fix the problem.

What’s the lesson here from the red sun sky? First—and it does seem obvious—it’s the ability to stop and notice the red sun sky. Don’t wait for your team to bring it to your attention!

Develop your radar in detecting cultural changes.

Second, it’s the speed at which we zoom out and zoom back in. Let’s call it zooming. Great leaders are good at zooming: They notice obvious and subtle changes in our work environment and they quickly use zooming to map out the next move for the organization.


If you see or sense a change in the sky….get zooming.


#workplaceculture #leadership #changemanagement #leadershiptips