Leadership Series – Positivity

Definition of leadership: the action of leading a group of people or an organization.”different styles of leadership”

Most of my working career has been in retail. Mainly one company. Over the last five years I’ve noticed the major decline in effective leadership within this company and others that I’ve been watching. Then I look at other companies, some I worked for, others I was watching and saw an increase in proper leadership.

One of the things I know for sure about the leadership in the various locations is that it starts at the top. When you are leading your leaders, then you grow your team and your company. I’ve seen some small business excel through this pandemic just because they had some great leaders in place.

There are so many qualities that make great leaders shine. So I’ll do a series of blogs to discuss these. Today we’ll talk about positivity.  I come from an age where this quality is taught by words and action. Yes, it still applies today.

Being positive is key in any line of business. It can alter the way your business functions and grows. When you are being positive it helps your team be open to changes and new responsibilities that may arise. Remember, everyone doesn’t like change and may take a bit to adjust.

We all understand the concept that everyone is hired to do a job. Yes, we all get that. Still, showing appreciation will make them WANT to work even harder. “Thank Yous” are free. Show your team you appreciate the work they are doing. While you’re doing that, be respectful. The worst thing you can do is treat them like children, even if they act that way sometimes. I try to remember, how would I feel? I tell people all the time “what you will not do is yell at me like I’m your two year old.” I know I’ve caught myself a few times, it’s easy to do when you get upset. Just remember, that won’t get you the best results. That positive appreciation goes a long way to being successful.

One thing that the will help you show positivity is by showing enthusiasm. When you are enthusiastic about your work it’ll show and reflect in your team. Enthusiasm is contagious. You want your team to happy, after all, when they are happy your customers/clients will be happy. Being enthusiastic also helps when you have new products or a change in the way things are done. Don’t underestimate the power of enthusiasm.

Place others before yourself, for the good of the team. Yes, you are important too. However, in leadership, sometimes we have to step back and focus on those we are leading. In one of my locations I was always missing lunch or taking a really late lunch so they could take theirs and we still get the job done. Putting them first, they thought about me. We established a great working relationship. It was a nice circle of caring and respect.

Speaking of respect, respect is vital to establishing positivity. Without respect, you can forget about any positivity you may have had. When your team knows and can feel the respect you have for them, they will respect you too. Showing respect for each individual will boost the moral of your team. When you’re nasty to them and not showing any respect, you have the opposite effect. I’ve seen awesome leaders earn respect the right way and those that earn it by fear. Getting respect through fear will not boost your positivity rating within your team or company. Instead it will have the opposite effect. Earning respect by showing respect is the best way to keep a positive, growing team.

Always remember, as a leader you are the the energy of your business. We all understand the ups and downs of business. You win some, you lose some. Just know and understand that if you don’t display that positive energy, then your team will not either.

In the next article we will discuss empathy and how of an important role that plays in effective leadership.

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