A Leader’s Positive Reputation

Ozone is a gas in the atmosphere. Depending on its distance from the earth’s surface, it can either protect or harm you. Thus, ozone in the atmosphere is generally classified as “good” ozone or “bad” ozone.

Good ozone exists in the upper atmosphere (otherwise known as the stratosphere), and it protects every living thing on earth from ultraviolet (UV) radiation of the sun. The absorption of UV radiation by the ozone layer, creates a source of heat, which shapes the stratosphere. Ozone in the stratosphere is fundamental to the temperature balance of the earth’s atmosphere.

Some output of human activities that have negative effects on good ozone, are generally referred to as ozone depleting substances. A breach in the ozone layer of the stratosphere and the resultant free flow of UV radiation to the earth’s surface, will lead to stunted growths, sterilization of living things, and a marked increase in earth’s temperature – ultimately accelerating extinction.

Bad ozone exists in the lower atmosphere (otherwise known as the troposphere), and it is toxic to living things. 

Some output of human activities have also had negative effects on the bad ozone, resulting in toxicity and urban smog.


In the stratosphere, temperature increases with altitude, because of UV absorption by the ozone. Interestingly, in the troposphere, temperature reduces with altitude.


All leaders are accountable to a higher authority. The sun represents the higher authority.

The sun provides light, but that same light can burn (just like UV radiation), and if left unchecked, it can stunt growth, eliminate production of ideas and ultimately annihilate the existence of that entity.

So a leader continually balances magnitude, space, time and direction, in relation to higher authority.

A leader’s positive reputation, like ozone, acts as a screen that allows the light to be shone on his team, ensuring they blossom, and yet soak up the negative side effects (UV radiation) of that light. This will ultimately increase the temperature around him, causing quite a bit of discomfort, but he endures, because it provides the enabling environment for his team. This explanation only works if the leader keeps his reputation at a safe distance from the team (good ozone), and does not brag about his reputation to them.

If a leader chooses to brag about his reputation, he has brought ozone too close to the earth’s surface, his reputation then becomes toxic to the very team he is trying to nurture, and he unwittingly fosters arrogance and complacency in them. Sadly, most teams with bragging leaders, help in the generation of more smog. They entrench the bad ozone, by singing songs of the infallibility of their leader. If you are a leader, the first sign needed to flee and reassess self, is praise without reprimand from your team.

Finally, the output (also known as results) of a leader’s team can cause a dent in his or her reputation. Nothing erodes the positive reputation of a leader, faster than the poor output of his team. Thus, the team must be made to understand – early, and reminded – often, that their output – positive or negative, has a direct impact on the climate in which they live and is a major determinant of whether they flourish or perish.

No matter how powerful a leader, no matter the strength of his character, no matter the age of his reputation, if his team delivers consistently poor output, the sun will bypass the ozone, the higher authority will bypass the leader. Once that happens, say goodbye to an enabling climate for high performance and career growth.

– Osasu Oviawe

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