Why Upbeat Leadership Beats Negativity Every Time
Think of the type of leaders who frown upon being upbeat or encouraging fun or optimism in the workplace.
Many of them will give you their self-proclaimed labels:
“I’m a deeper thinker.” Or “I don’t give into trite fads or gimmicks.”
They may even claim to be “astute”. “Mature”. “Experienced”. “Intellectual”. “Grounded in reality”.
Great excuses, but frankly they result in poor culture. Why would any leader want to squelch an attitude of optimism and being upbeat in order to “be focused on work” or “dealing with the reality of business”?
Give me a team that is upbeat in their training, vision, and goals, and I’ll beat your talented “realistic” team every time.
Culture that is forged by upbeat leaders and upbeat people will overcome every obstacle, create better synergy, and deepens a commitment to teamwork than a culture that says “We don’t work to be positive or enjoy ourselves, we have a job to do and that’s our reward.”
Think about these examples of upbeat leadership:
- A painter trying to paint around a heating system that suddenly falls of the wall. His response? “That’s great, now I can access the entire wall!”
- The 2004 Boston Red Sox who, being down 3 games to 0, said of their chances to get to the World Series, “Why not us?!”
- Winston Churchill’s optimism during the darkest times of the London bombings in World War II
- And my favorite – from the movie “Apollo 13” – Gene Kranz (Ed Harris) using his determined optimism to ensure NASA did not fail in bringing the stranded astronauts home
If any of these leaders failed to display an upbeat attitude, what would have been the outcome? Frustration that impacts other construction workers. Losing a playoff series instead of creating the greatest sports comeback of all time. History – and freedom – forever changed. And the potential loss of lives if a defeatist attitude settles in.
If you were to compile the exit interviews of those people who left companies the majority of people would note one of the key reasons for leaving is that their leadership was negative and did not contribute to an upbeat work environment. If that one key element was changed it would most likely result in lower turnover for many organizations.
Work culture is a many-faceted environment, but one of the key under-girding factors is the pervasive attitude in the organization. And that reflects from it’s leaders. Leaders who justify their reasons to act negatively, or at least – indifferent, handicap the untapped potential of a motivated culture that can only come from being upbeat. Leaders who create and foster a more positive and enjoyable work environment almost always see long-term sustainable results as their teams are more committed and engaged to the cause.
Upbeat leadership is the only way to connect, overcome, retain, and grow your people and your brand during the lifecycle of your organization.
Let me know if you have an “upbeat leadership” story to share in the comments below!!