Make Leadership Positive
There are a lot of negatives to working near the top of the pyramid. You have to deal with the morale problems, the disciplinary issues, the complaints and dips in performance that can set a business back and prove dispiriting for all involved.
It’s easy to let that negativity show, or to pass it on to those around you. But successful leadership comes from avoiding that dark path of least resistance, and learning to focus on the positives.
When you’ve been working hard all day without anyone acknowledging your efforts, it can be hard to feel grateful and to show thanks. But gratitude in all its forms is important to leadership. If you feel bad when no one acknowledges your efforts then there’s all the more reason to acknowledge those of others.
Thank the people who work for you. Make that extra effort to get out from behind your desk and show your appreciation in person to someone who’s done something great for you. If you persist then the example you set will be passed on, and that gratitude will spread out through the organization, creating a positive atmosphere. It will even help in your relationships with suppliers, as they’re left with the positive feeling of dealing with a business that knows what they’re worth.
We will always face challenges and limitations. It’s in the nature of the world. If everything went perfectly then we wouldn’t have to work for it, and we’d probably wind up discontented even with that.
But just because we constantly face problems doesn’t mean we have to constantly focus on them. Doing so draws attention away from opportunities, something we also face all the time, and which are often connected to those very same problems.
We’ve all met people who are constantly focused on the negative, and felt how draining they can be to spend time with. So, as a leader, set an example by focusing on the opportunities and what can be gained from them. Instead of bringing down the people around you, lift them up, encouraging them to search for the potential in every situation and to focus on the positives themselves.
It’s easier to find the energy for work in a positive environment, and as a leader that environment is down to you.
This is what leadership ultimately boils down to – that the environment you work in is up to you, and you can’t make excuses when it doesn’t work out.
It’s easy to make those excuses, to find reasons not to do the things you want to do, or that you think are right. ‘It’s too difficult.’ ‘The board won’t like it.’ ‘Customers fear change.’
But if a decision is the right one then those really are nothing more than excuses, and you should shake them off. They will hold you back, giving you a reason not to make the decisions that are hard but ultimately rewarding.
There are always excuses for not being more positive about work. ‘This problem isn’t going to go away.’ ‘I don’t have time to go around saying thank you.’ Those excuses will hold you back, and just as a positive example can spread from an influential leader, so too can this negative example.
Making excuses takes energy. Focusing on problems takes energy. So instead make a decision to turn that energy around, to turn it into gratitude, into opportunities, and into a better working environment.
Because you’re the leader, and that better environment can only come from you.