We are not positive because life is easy. We are positive because life can be hard

A Leader is a dealer in hope, during adversity, obstacles, crisis, and trying times; the leader should always show optimism and positivity. The most powerful tool in a leaders toolset is what he does (example), not what he says. A leader who is positive and optimistic during trying times gives followers the confidence they need during tough times.

In the Power of Positive Leadership, Jon Gordon shares what he has learned and provides a comprehensive framework on positive leadership filled with proven principles, compelling stories, practical ideas, and practices that will help anyone become a positive leader.

Positive leadership is all about seeing and creating a brighter and better future. It’s about inventing, innovating, creating, building, improving, and transforming education, healthcare, business, government, technology, farming, design, communities, cities, transportation, and every aspect of our lives and the world we live in. Some scoff when leaders share bold ideas, imaginative goals, and seemingly impossible dreams, but ideas, imagination, and dreams are the fabric positive leaders weave together to create the future and change the world.

Here are my favourite take aways from reading, The Power of Positive Leadership by Jon Gordon:

Culture

Your culture is your root, and your focus should be on the process that nourishes and produces the fruit

  • Culture is not just one thing; it’s everything. Culture drives expectations and beliefs. Expectations and beliefs drive behaviors. Behaviors drive habits. And habits create the future. It all starts with the culture you create and drive throughout the organization. That’s where all success and great results begin.
  • Driving your culture is not something you can delegate. You are the leader and you must spend your time, energy, and effort creating and building the culture of your team and organization.

 Once you know what you stand for, decisions are easy to make. When your culture dictates your decisions, you are on the right path to positive results.

Vision

  • Positive leadership is all about seeing and creating a brighter and better future. It’s about inventing, innovating, creating, building, improving, and transforming education, healthcare, business, government, technology, farming, design, communities, cities, transportation, and every aspect of our lives and the world we live in. Some scoff when leaders share bold ideas, imaginative goals, and seemingly impossible dreams, but ideas, imagination, and dreams are the fabric positive leaders weave together to create the future and change the world.
  • At one time, Star Wars was just an idea in the mind of George Lucas, but now the Force is as strong as ever. J.K. Rowling had a vision of Harry Potter and now he’s an iconic part of our society—and as real as a roller-coaster in Universal Studios. John F. Kennedy had a vision for sending a man to the moon. Ronald Reagan saw the Berlin Wall come down before it crumbled. Steve Jobs imagined the iPod and iPhone long before the world was addicted to them. Abraham Lincoln envisioned a united America. Martin Luther King, Jr., had a dream about equality. George Washington had thoughts of revolution and freedom before fighting for independence.

A positive leader sees what’s possible and then takes the next steps to rally and unite people to create it. Every invention, project, creation, and transformation starts with an idea, an imagination, and a vision of what’s possible.

 Telescope vs Microscope

As a positive leader you will want to carry a telescope and a microscope with you on your journey.

  • The telescope helps you and your team keep your eyes on your vision, North Star, and big picture.
  • The microscope helps you zoom-focus on the things you must do in the short term to realize the vision in your telescope. If you have only a telescope, then you’ll be thinking about your vision all the time and dreaming about the future but not taking the necessary steps to realize it.

OPTIMISM, POSITIVITY, AND BELIEF

The most important characteristic of a leader is optimism.- Bob Iger, CEO of Disney

  • The research shows that optimism is a competitive advantage, but we don’t need research to tell us what we already know to be true. After all, if you don’t believe in your vision and where you are going, and you are not optimistic that you’ll get there, you’ll be like the many who give up before reaching their goal and dream. They give up because of the struggle, the negativity, ”the frustration, the adversity, the fear, the rejection, the naysayers, and the circumstances that seem insurmountable.
  • The Gallup Organization did a study where they asked people to name the best and worst event of their lives. They found that there was an 80 percent correlation between the two events. Somehow the worst event of our lives often leads to the best, if we stay positive, stay the course, and keep moving forward.

Those who see themselves as victims stay down. But those who see themselves as heroes get back up and, armed with optimism, courage, and faith, they move forward and take action to create a brighter and better future.

POSITIVE LEADERS CONFRONT, TRANSFORM, AND REMOVE NEGATIVITY

  • Positive leadership is not just about feeding the positive, but also about weeding out the negative. As a leader you must recognize that negativity exists and you can’t ignore it. One of the biggest mistakes leaders make is that they ignore the negativity within their team and organization. They allow it to breed and grow, and it eventually sabotages the team and organization. You must address the negativity. Confront it, transform it, or remove it.
  • When you feed the positive and weed the negative, you create an environment where you can do your best work as a leader. You can do what the truly great leaders do, and that’s build unified and connected teams and great relationships.

You can’t help others be positive by being negative. You’re the leader, and to be your best and bring out the best in others, you must be a positive leader.

POSITIVE LEADERS CREATE UNITED AND CONNECTED TEAMS

It’s the leader’s ability to unite and connect people that truly creates great teams and organizations.

  • When you make time to connect with your team and create unity by bringing people together, performance will rise to create a united and connected organization. It’s also essential as a leader to enhance the connection between the people on the team and in the organization. As a positive leader, you must be a unifier and connector who fosters relationships between others.
  • As a leader, you can’t allow people to stay isolated. You can’t allow the disease of me to infect your organization. In my work with schools, I find that many teachers only care about their own classrooms and not about the entire school because the leader hasn’t done a great job of connecting the staff and has failed to create a unified school. It’s important to create unity and wholeness. It needs to be a priority and it doesn’t happen without intentionality and action.

POSITIVE LEADERS BUILD GREAT RELATIONSHIPS AND TEAMS

Leadership comes down to taking care of the people in your organization and making them the best they can be, not giving up on them and never failing to be there for them. – Pete Carroll

  • Success comes down to people and relationships and building something together. When you love someone, you take the time to invest in a relationship with them to help them improve and grow. People can tell when you have an agenda, so don’t have one. Just build great relationships and build something great together.

POSITIVE LEADERS PURSUE EXCELLENCE

People think you have to choose between positivity and winning. You don’t have to choose. Positivity leads to winning.

  • Positive leaders care about others and are optimistic about the future, so they are always looking for ways to make it better. They are always looking for ways to transform what is into what could be. They are never satisfied with the status quo and as a result are always striving to improve themselves, their teams, their organizations, and the world. They pursue excellence, build greatness, and often try to accomplish the impossible. These efforts are not for the faint of heart.

POSITIVE LEADERS LEAD WITH PURPOSE

We don’t get burned out because of what we do. We get burned out because we forget why we do it.

  • People think that hard work is what makes us tired. Hard work doesn’t make us tired. A lack of purpose is what makes us tired. We don’t get burned out because of what do. We get burned out because we forget why we do it. Research shows that more people die Monday morning at 9 AM than any other time. Think about it. People would rather die than go to work. We live in a world where many are seeking happiness but they are having trouble finding it.
  • Your job may not be your ultimate purpose, but through your leadership, you can use it to be a vehicle to share your greater purpose. Most of all, remember that if you are a leader, you have a purpose and it’s to inspire others to live theirs.

People would rather die than go to work. We live in a world where many are seeking happiness but they are having trouble finding it.

POSITIVE LEADERS HAVE GRIT

The number one predictor and factor of success is not talent, title, wealth, or appearance. It is grit!

  • Angela Duckworth’s research at the University of Pennsylvania identifies grit as the number-one predictor and factor of success. It’s not talent, title, wealth, or good looks. It’s grit, the ability to work hard for a long period of time towards a goal; to persevere, overcome, and keep moving forward in the face of adversity, failure, rejection, and obstacles.16 Success doesn’t happen overnight. Anything worthwhile takes time to build.
  • Along the way, a leader will face countless challenges, failures, and setbacks that will become roadblocks unless they find a way forward. Positive leaders have grit and find a way to navigate the roadblocks or run through them to move closer to their vision and goal.

All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

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