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The Power of Positive Leadership: How and Why Positive Leaders Transform Teams and Organizations and Change the World by Jon Gordon

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Your Positivity Must Be Greater than All the Negativity.

Positivity is about more than having a positive state of mind. It’s also a life changer and gives people a competitive advantage in business, sports, and politics. “the more you energize people in your workplace, the higher your work performance.” In part this is because people want to be around you, thereby you attract talent and people are more likely to devote their discretionary time to your projects. They’ll offer new ideas, information, and opportunities to you before others. The opposite is also true, if you de-energize others, people won’t go out of their way to work with or help you.

Start change at the culture level. Positive leaders drive positive cultures. Culture is not just one thing. It’s everything. Culture drives expectation and beliefs. Expectations and beliefs drive behaviours. Behaviours drive habits. And habits create the beliefs drive behaviours. Behaviours drive habits. And habits create the future. It all starts with the culture you create and drive throughout the organization.

If you want the fruit, you must invest in the root. If you invest in the root, you will always receive a great supply of fruit. Of course you should measure your fruit, but you should do so knowing that it’s simply a by-product of how well you are nurturing the root. Your culture is your root, and your focus should be on the process that nourishes and produces the fruit. Optimism, positivity, and belief are the fuel that positive leaders need to keep moving forward and drive results.

The author mentions a fair bit about sports coaches, several of whom he met after the success of his previous book ‘The Energy Bus’. An example was when promoting Women’s National Basketball Association; if you can show proof of concept and early successes to the next level of believers this and gets them to buy in. One success at a time, gets people to by in and believe. “You have to give people excuses to say yes. Some will be all in based on what you say. Some you need to show.” You must not only be positive but effective too. You can be positive but not effective. It’s about deciding the highest and best use of our energy.

Mentions energy vampires, people who suck optimism out of the room. An interesting example using this was an American football club who draw a large picture of an energy vampire on the wall facing the seats where the players sit. If a player or coach acted like an energy vampire, the team took his picture and put it on the wall. No one wanted to be on the wall. It was a message from the coach to the team that they would stay positive through their adversity and challenges.

The best way to deal with energy vampires in your organization is at the culture level, where you set the expectation that people who drain the energy of others will not be tolerated. Talk about the negative impact of negativity. Explain that one person can’t make a team but one person can break a team. Talk about what a great culture looks like and how you want everyone to be a positive contributor to it. This may transform energy vampires if doesn’t work then remove them.

If you are an emerging leaders in an organization but, don’t have the power to hire and fire an energy vampires how should you interact with them? Try to be more positive than the negativity you face. Become a positive force of positive energy that demonstrates to others what real positivity in the form of love, patience, kindness, and care looks like. Lead by example and lead from where you are. Look at every energy vampire as an opportunity to strengthen your positivity.

Being positive won’t guarantee you’ll succeed but being negative will guarantee you won’t. Positive leadership is not just about feeding the positive, but also about weeding out the negative. As a leader you must recognize that negativity exists and you can’t ignore it. You must address the negativity in your team. Confront it, transform it, or remove it.

Once you decide the way forward, you execute challenge or opportunity. You can tell yourself a positive story by looking at the events in your life as an opportunity instead of a challenge. Understand that leadership is not just about what you do but what you can inspire, encourage, and empower others to do. Regardless of your circumstances and challenges, there is a future waiting to be created and, with your leadership, optimism, belief, and faith, your team and organization will be the one to create it. On your leadership journey, it will take all your optimism, belief, and positivity to help others become all that they are meant to be. It will also require your ability to develop relationships with them.

Communication builds trust. Trust generates commitment. Commitment fosters teamwork, and teamwork delivers great results. If you don’t have communication, you don’t have the commitment and trust you need to build a great team and create the future together. As a positive leader, it’s important to be a positive communicator and make others feel important by listening to them and truly hearing what they have to say. Decide to be that person who instils a positive belief in someone who needs to hear your encouraging words. Uplift someone who is feeling down. Fuel your team with your positive energy. Rally others to focus on what is possible rather than what seems impossible. Share encouragement. It will help build your relationships. It matters and we all need it.

Servant leadership leads with humility, knowing it’s not about you —it’s about his team. Remember, it’s not about you. It’s about committing yourself to others. Many want to be big-time leaders but it’s important to remember that being a big-time leader starts with doing the little things to serve those you lead. It’s always about the little things. Unity, relationships, and teamwork are developed slowly, one day; one interaction; one moment; one loving, serving, and caring act at a time.

Motivation doesn’t last, but purpose-driven motivation does. Purpose-driven goals lead to outcomes that far surpass your numbered goals alone. An idea this book suggests to help you live with purpose is to pick a word at the start of each year and share this with close friends and family, encouraging them to do the same. This well chosen word represents your main goal for that year and will help inspire you to live with more meaning, passion and purpose for that year. We don’t get burned out because of what we do. We get burned out because we forget why we do it.

To be a positive leader you need grit, the ability to work hard for a long period of time towards a goal; to persevere, overcome, and keep moving forward in the face of adversity, failure, rejection, and obstacles. Love powers grit, and it also powers you over fear. Fear causes you to worry about what everyone will think if you fail. Love moves you to give your best and not worry about the rest.

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