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Leadership Thought #453 – Are You Bringing Positive Energy?

October 10, 2013

Free Happy aged gray haired coach in casual wear looking at camera while supporting young African American coworker in office boardroom Stock Photo

I find that one of the most recognizable traits of an effective leader is that they bring positive energy to a room.  You can feel it the moment they walk through the door.  I have been in banquet halls far from the entrance and felt the presence of certain people as they arrived.  It’s almost as if a small electrical jolt works its way through the crowd.  While most of us aren’t blessed with this type of “rock star” aura, we can certainly notice and work on the effect we have on others.  You are either adding energy to the group dynamic or diminishing it. It really is this simple.  Leaders must be a source of consistent positive energy if they want to get the most of out of their people.

Leadership can be hard at times.  Being in business certainly has its challenges.  It’s not always easy to stay positive when you feel like you are in the middle of the jungle trying to hack your way out the tall grass and overcome other nefarious obstacles.  However, this is the choice you made when you assumed the mantle of leadership. If it was easy then everyone could do it (and they can’t).  Whether you have 1 employee or 10,000 they are all looking to you for guidance and inspiration, especially when it is hard.  Even when things are going well, you can quickly fall off track if lose sight of the importance of your role and the emotional impact you have on those around you.

A major source of positive energy is optimism but it must be genuine not contrived.  People will pick up on it quickly if you are trying to fake positive feelings about the industry, company, division, leadership team, etc.   Trust me, you cannot “fake it until you make it.”  In addition, it is fairly easy to pick up on whether or not someone likes and believes in what they are doing and the people they are doing it with.  I’ve seen leaders suck the life out a room who feel overly burdened by their responsibilities and not all that excited about their products/services and/ or lacking confidence in their business model or people (including themselves).

All great success stories usually involve an individual or group of people overcoming a significant challenge.  They also involve a leader getting a group of people to see that the “whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”  Few things are more powerful to behold than a group of people bonded together around a common objective they believe to be worthy of their joint sacrifice and effort.  It’s critical to remember that the end result must always be perceived as a positive one.  Leaders who motivate people to tap into the best of themselves and embrace their opportunities have accomplished great things throughout the course of history.  All fires must begin with a spark.  Every spark is the result of some form of positive energy.

Are you bringing positive energy to your organization?