After reading the article ‘The Best Leaders Have a Contagious Positive Energy’ by Emma Seppala and Kim Cameron, the following quote stood out to me and reminded me of the importance of positivity in leadership. It reads, “The greatest predictor of success for leaders is not their charisma, influence, or power. It is not personality, attractiveness, or innovative genius. The one thing that supersedes all these factors is positive relational energy: the energy exchanged between people that helps uplift, enthuse, and renew them.” The best leaders I’ve worked for have all had this trait in common. They understand that creating a space where people are influencing each other in a positive way will improve performance and overall happiness. Negative energy also has the power to influence us. This is often detrimental, as it can dampen our own positivity until we begin to believe those toxic, stressful, anxious, negative feelings. One key to a high performing and cohesive team is having leadership which brings a positive attitude day in and day out. This, of course, is not as easy as it sounds!
The way we feel even has the power to influence others. Taking care of ourselves as leaders is just as important as taking care of your team. The question then becomes, “how are we supposed to take care of ourselves?” Well, a key component of positivity pointed out in this article is how our values sit at the core of our morals, behaviors, and how we treat others. These play a key role in sustaining positivity. If we stay true to our values and ourselves, we will be better equipped to uplift those around us and demonstrate the positive energy materializing in our own lives. Bringing a positive attitude or energy to the home or workplace is not a manufactured or faked persona, but rather a reflection of those same values that can be called upon to bring compassion and joy to those around you. Self-care can translate into caring for those around us, too, and will make the present moment much more comfortable and enjoyable for everyone.
In leadership, the business of working with some people is not always easy and can often drain us of our emotional and mental energy. Our limited emotional and mental energy is precious and can become easily fatigued. The interactions we have with others over time can wear us down if there is a consistent theme of negativity. Taking a step back to examine the path we are headed toward and deciding where we want to go versus where we don’t, is important. Finding time to reset, care for our minds and bodies, and feeling supported by loved ones can put us on path to positivity and even lead to feelings of restored energy. When there is positive energy in leadership, it causes a ripple-effect of well-being, better engagement, improved performance, and job satisfaction, to name a few, but the list goes on. The truth is humans crave positive energy and want to be nurtured by it. Positivity has the power to ground us in our reality and reminds us how social interactions can impact our minds and bodies.
I want to leave you with this: One of the great parts of bringing positive energy to leadership is that it has a chain reaction with the people you interact with. The person who ends up being uplifted will use that same approach with others, and the entire network can become energized. When this type of energy is brought to your environment it becomes self-sustaining because people crave positivity and will work harder to ensure it stays around. So as a leader, parent, mentor, or simply as a human being, focus on surfacing your personal values, taking care of yourself, and bringing positive energy to whatever you do. It will create an environment you, and others, will want to be a part of.