I’ll bet a lot of what contributed to that engaging, energizing and productive experience had to do with a positive leader who knew how to create an engaging work environment.
All too often, we leaders focus our time on creating strategy and crafting tactical plans. What gets neglected is the reality that true success or failure lies in our ability to influence the behaviour of the people who will be executing the plan—our team members.
Leading effectively is all about fostering positive feelings in the people whose cooperation and support you need to accomplish your goals. People are the core of any organization and positive people practices will propel you and your organization to achieve new heights of performance possibilities.
Individuals, teams, leaders and organizations achieve their greatest potential when a positive, solution-focused and strengths-based approach is at the heart of your organizational culture. It has long been clear to most of us that leaders create culture. Well, how about you? Are you a positive leader?
Whether at home or at work…what you think, feel, and do determines what you’ll get back from others. Are you getting what you need?
Positive Leadership is about energizing people to partner with you to achieve their maximum performance potential.
Positive Leadership is:
Positive leaders are connected to the organization and driven beyond personal gain or achievements. Then, they help the team achieve meaningfulness and purpose, by connecting the core values of team members to work outcomes, and by focusing on the long term impact and benefits created by the work.
What purpose does your team or department serve? What does the team value? How does your purpose serve others?
Positive leaders model hope for the team and for the organization. In order for others to buy-in to the leader’s message about positive change, the leader must exude a sense of optimism. To build your capacity for optimism, tune in.
What information are you choosing to focus on? Does that information nourish or drain your sense of hope? With whom do you surround yourself? Do those people add to, or take away from, your sense of hope? You can take steps to bring more of what adds to your sense of hope into your work and your life.
Positive leaders recognize who has the expertise and drive to take the lead at any time, and the positive leader gladly shares the leadership role. When this happens, the leader not only reinforces a key leadership practice of building team capability, but also inspires others to do the same.
Who on your team is ready to take a leadership role? Have you shared everything you need to share so that the team is ready to assume leadership? Do you provide autonomy to develop other positive leaders?
Positive leaders develop a personal sense of ownership and self-management. They share the purpose, vision and values of the organization, on purpose, and engage others to do the same. Positive leaders are self-aware and attentive to the whole system; seeing and realizing new possibilities. Positive leaders walk their talk and recognize and reward team members regularly.
How can you produce a sense of ownership on your team? Do you walk your talk? Do you make your intention clear?
Trust is the foundation of any successful team or organization (or family). It is a prerequisite for authentic connection and healthy relationships. A positive leader who is trusting helps to open people up to be honest in their communication. Honest communication facilitates open dialogue to create the level of commitment and accountability required for positive team results.
Do you ‘trust first’ or do you wait for others to trust you before you trust them? What do you do to instill trust in others?
Leadership is infectious. It is ‘viral’. The leader’s behaviours are transmitted through the entire organization; they permeate and influence every activity. Leaders affect organizational climate when they personally induce, develop and display emotion….with a particular emphasis on positive emotion. Positive emotions broaden people’s minds and their ability to perform, while negative emotions narrow scope and coping ability.
What kind of infectious agent do you want to be? What has been the effect of your leadership on others?
Vulnerability and authenticity are intertwined. Positive leaders understand that in order for others to truly engage with them, the leader must be authentic, and that takes a measure of vulnerability. When we ‘play a role’ at work; we are not our true, authentic, vulnerable selves. Positive leaders share their fears, weaknesses, and mistakes as easily as they share their joys, strengths and successes. They know that their role is not to have all the right answers (because they definitely don’t have them all) but instead is to ask lots of questions.
Are you vulnerable? How often do you ask your team ‘what do you think?’?
To be emotive means to relate to, appeal to, and express emotion. All of these are practices of a positive leader. While a range of emotions are a part of the normal human experience, researchers have found that work teams with a 3 to 1 positive-to-negative ratio were more productive (and satisfied) than teams that did not reach that ratio.
Are you empathic and understanding of others’ emotions? Do you appeal to other’s positive emotions as a way of motivating action? Do you congruently express your emotion, inspiring trust in others who will see you are more authentic?
There is a lovely quotation by Steven Stein and Howard Book from ‘The EQ Edge’ that I think sums up the essence of the missed opportunity if you aren’t practicing Positive Leadership:
“You might be as sharp as a tack, but if you can’t convey what you know to other people, you’re in trouble. As creative and skillful as you might be, if you’re unaware of how you relate to others, if you behave disdainfully or angrily or impulsively, no one will stick around long enough to admire your skill and creativity.”
What are your thoughts? How has a positive leader impacted you?
Deri Latimer, B. Mgt., CSP, is an expert in possibilities for people! She is one of the top 10% of speakers globally who hold the designation of Certified Speaking Professional, the speaking profession’s measure of excellence in professional platform skill. Deri combines a Business degree in Human Resources with experience from business sectors including health care, manufacturing, education, agriculture, government, mining, transportation, tourism, and professional services. Deri helps individuals and organizations optimize their performance by managing their energy; applying the latest research and practice in positive psychology, appreciative inquiry, emotional intelligence, and employee engagement.