I recently came across an article advocating the need for positive leadership. Filled with Hallmark-style sentiments and buzzwords, the article left me cold and wondering what the phrase meant.
The idea stuck with me enough to answer my own question.
- It means you wrestle with placing the need to be liked, revered, controlling, feeling important on the back burner. It means placing the needs of people, circumstances, culture, or situation first. This can mean positive outcomes for others. It can also mean unfavorable outcomes for others. It’s placing the good of all first.
- It’s believing in and sharing a vision that gives meaning to the work people do. It’s a reason why people chose to give their time to you. It’s an input into employees search for motivation, interests – their engagement in their work.
- Positive leadership involves observing how your team interacts with each other and with business partners. And then working with each individual or through others to deepen and grow those relationships. To get the most out of them.
- Positive leadership is an honor. Honor is dedication, selfless: Dedication to not let people get away with mediocrity when they are capable of greatness. It’s selfless when they stand-up for this belief to expose talent for the mere fact that talent must be shared.
This is hardly an exhaustive list. To sum it up, it’s this: positive leadership is other-focused; it’s creating a meaningful experience for your people while they work. Such actions, like the ones above, leave an impression on people and teams that lift, inspire, and motivate. It’s tough work. But working through it and seeing people “turn-on” because of positive leadership actions makes it worthwhile.
At the core of positive leadership is the belief that it’s an honor to serve people, and to do so with an intention to help others contribute their best while working with you.
Image courtesy of Renjith Krishnan