whirlpool effect

Want Amazing Results from Your Team? Get in the Pool

Summer is not far away. Where I live, we look forward to summer because you can enjoy the backyard swimming pool. My grand kids are already asking “how much longer?”

Fun in the pool comes in many ways.

Claire Chandler, a senior HR professional in my tribe writes:

The greatest enjoyment as a kid in the neighbor’s pool came when one of us would suddenly yell, “Whirlpool!”

To us, the term “Whirlpool” was universally understood. It meant we would immediately start following each other, trotting in a circle, for several rotations. Until the magic happened.

We could pick up our feet and be carried along with the circular current our collective effort had created.

Enter the whirlpool effect

Creating the whirlpool effect with our friends was one of the simplest, purest joys of our childhood. As soon as we heard that one word, we enthusiastically got to work.

That, my friends, is exactly how true leadership works too.

If that statement feels like someone just garden-hosed icy cold water into your pool, I apologize. But stay with me here.

If you’re a Leader and your people aren’t enthusiastically behind you… you’re doing it wrong.

Let me explain.

Here’s why one word—“Whirlpool”—leads to such a magical result.

It’s a simple message that everyone clearly understands.

Are you overcomplicating your message? Get out of your own way.

Seriously. The clearer your message, the more likely your people will actually do what you need them to do.

Or you can keep conveying inconsistent, confusing corporate babble, and remain disappointed that your people are underperforming.

It communicates a mission that everyone can visualize and get behind.

Do you know the #1 reason why most leaders fail or at least underperform? They don’t know WHY they’re leading.

Do you even have a mission? Look beyond the bullets on your job description.

Do you truly, deeply understand why your team and YOUR role exist? Until you do, your people won’t either.

It inspires everyone to contribute and collaborate enthusiastically to making the mission a reality.

Do your employees buy into your team’s mission?

Have you asked your people if they understand the mission, relate to it, AND see how their individual role contributes to it? Do you have full buy-in?

If you answered “No,” “Sort of,” or “Meh” to any of those questions, don’t plan on achieving your mission any time soon.

The result is something that everyone takes part in celebrating because they all benefit from achieving it.

Will you know what success looks like when you achieve it? Do you celebrate the milestones along the way?

Do you recognize the individual efforts of the people who helped get you there? Recognition is a performance accelerator—and it makes the ultimate victory that much sweeter for everyone.

Creating the whirlpool effect is not only rewarding for your team; it creates value in your business.


Organizations under the whirlpool effect experience higher productivity, greater innovation, increased revenues, fewer employee conflicts and lower employee turnover.

And believe it or not, when you inspire the whirlpool effect, you will find leading easier and more fun. 

One word. Whirlpool. That’s all it takes to create magical results.

Introducing the WHY.os. Learn YOUR why, how, and what that drives your passion and motivation.


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