My summer review of the top 10 leadership qualities, according to Forbes.com, continues with #7 – a positive attitude.
A positive attitude goes right to the core of leadership – motivation. Great leaders, at all levels, lead by motivating and you can’t motivate anyone without a positive attitude. To me, this seems so basic. If you do not have a positive attitude, you can’t lead. No one will follow you or at least they will tire of you pretty quickly.
Is it easy? No.
I have seen many leaders get pulled into the darkness by negative results, bad performances, rough business patches and more – sometimes slowly and others very quickly. The true sign of a great leader is the ability to avoid these falls. A leader must look ahead of the bad quarter or the rough days and see the brighter side or brighter days ahead. This is the key to leadership. Stay positive. Stay up. Smile.
As I have said on many of the previous blog posts, your people are watching. If you go dark on them, they will read right through it for the right and wrong reasons and make decisions based on that reading.
If they see your negative reaction to a bad performance, they will start to assume and or make up the repercussions. You can just hear it. “She was so depressed after we delivered late on the project someone’s head is going to roll”. When in truth, no one will take a fall and you will get over it within days. But the damage was done.
Or the days after the announcement of your organization’s second bad quarter in a row. You go dark because you are taking it way too personally. You made promises you couldn’t keep. This is not you and you take it hard but you reacted publicly. They can all see it. Your team’s reaction? They figured your darkness was as a result of a meeting with CEO or the Board – raking you over the coals due to the results. You are history and that puts all of them at risk. And worse? The rumours are starting to fly about a potential sale of the company. The whole thing gets blown out of proportion. None of this is true but your darkness set it all into play.
When the bad times hit you need to stay positive.
I found an article on lifestyleezine.com called ‘Successful Leaders Start with a Positive Attitude’.
The author says” …you will need more than a miracle to make certain things happen. As long as you have the right attitude of looking at things, and on how they have to be done, you can eliminate the miracle wishing part.”
He/she goes on to suggest that it is our attitude towards obstacles, problems and issues that will drive our success.
“Why don’t we see these problems as challenges…as something to spice our journey up? Not all roads to success are smooth. Often, there are bumps and humps. If we miss our turn, we might get lost and end up starting all over again. See the big picture. Look beyond the problem. A positive leader will not dwell on a difficult situation and be discouraged by it, but will believe that he can and he ought to surpass it in order to reach his goals. With positive attitude, he never accepts defeat. Instead, he fights the noble battle until the very end.”
With a positive attitude, he (she) never accepts defeat. Never.
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