Dump the negativity: Positive leadership builds confidence, creates winning teams

August 23, 2013

Nashville Business Journal

 

We all know that “bad” news sells. We hear a continuous barrage of negative stories. When leaders repeat this bad news, employees tend to follow.

So why not counteract that negativity? I’ve found that high-class leaders know how to focus on positive topics with generally top-notch results. Here are a few positive facts about our world today:

Poverty and starvation are at the lowest levels in recorded history. U.S. crime rates have been on a downward spiral for more than 30 years. Global literacy is at the highest level ever.

The reality is that we live in an ever-improving world; as leaders we need to talk about the good things. People react positively to positive actions, so think about the influence you can have when you share optimistically.

It’s just as important to be positive in your actions.

If you micromanage, you are throwing a big wet blanket over the initiative of your team. If you criticize in front of others, you are demoralizing and losing respect at the same time. If you lose your cool, you are losing your position with your people. If you are not patting folks on the back for a good job, you are missing an opportunity to build confidence and teamwork.

Take some time to evaluate your leadership practices. I hope you can truly say that you are a positive leader.

Great leaders also encourage optimistic team thinking by emphasizing what really counts. When the boss is future-focused, teams bond and can achieve greater success.

Here are a few ways you can work toward being a more positive leader:

Have a clear long-term plan for your business unit. Share it regularly with your team. Celebrate accomplishment as frequently as it happens. Give regular, detailed performance feedback to everyone on your team. Share everything.

Employees thrive under positive leadership. Assess your performance, build your plan, be positive every day and watch the astonishing results.

Joe Scarlett is the retired CEO of Tractor Supply Co. He can be reached at Joe@joescarlett.com

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