Positivity helps leaders win

Nashville Business Journal

February 16, 2018


Want to win in your leadership role? Keep it positive. While it can be a challenge, some of the most memorable leaders have demonstrated a persistently positive and enthusiastic attitude. The capacity to show positivity day in and day out is not only a benchmark of true leadership, but can also set the tone for others to achieve the same. 

What does a positive attitude look like?

  • Be optimistic about the future—take a “we can do it” approach to every challenge
  • Pat people on the back for a job well done and do it regularly
  • Share success stories about outstanding individual and team performances  
  • Celebrate big—and sometimes not-so-big—victories
  • Communicate with everyone around you in a confident, encouraging way
  • See every day as a sunny one—don’t allow anything or anyone to rain on your parade

We all know how it feels to be positive, and we have also encountered negative people who always look on the dark side. Who would you choose to be around? The answer is obvious. As a leader, your behavior sets the tone for your team and often other employees that you may not even know. Don’t underestimate the impact your positive attitude can have on others—at work and at home. 

Why is it important for leaders to have a positive attitude?

  • Productivity is higher in motivated, enthusiastic teams
  • Errors are measurably lower in high-morale work units
  • New ideas flow freely from engaged workers
  • Employees working in positive work climates have measurably lower turnover
  • Inspired teams produce future leaders and innovators

When your business unit is cohesive, working together in a positive and constructive environment, results will simply be much better. But the magic doesn’t happen spontaneously. It all begins with a leader who starts the workday looking on the bright side—and who can sustain that attitude all day long. 

Staying positive, however, doesn’t mean you avoid or downplay serious issues. It just means you can confront those difficult circumstances from a more positive place. In fact, once you’ve established an environment of high morale and everyone’s invested in maintaining a happy, healthy culture, you might be able to resolve workplace issues quicker than ever before. 

How will a positive attitude help your career and personal life?

  • Your team will work harder, communicate better and engage more
  • Your peers will be more apt to partner with you on daily work and especially on special projects
  • You’ll earn respect (and plenty of new friends) by keeping a good attitude about life 
  • You’ll earn points with the boss by being that upbeat and positive person he or she can count on 
  • A positive attitude of gratitude will attract further happiness in your life, according to studies
  • Family relationships will grow stronger when built on an upbeat, positive foundation 
  • You might just extend your life! Positive people actually live longer when compared to those with poor attitudes 

So psych yourself up, carve out that motivating “me time” and start some positivity practices. It will pay off for you in more ways than you can count. You want to advance your career. Everyone wants to work with a happy leader. Don’t let them—or yourself—down!  


Joe Scarlett is the retired CEO of Tractor Supply Company
For more on leadership see joescarlett.com
Or write Joe at Joe@joescarlett.com

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