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Keeping the Faith: Why Leaders Must Stay Positive Even When the Future Looks Bleak
A positive attitude lends leaders superpowers and a measure of leadership maturity that facilitates resilience and creative problem-solving. Positive people find it easier to build meaningful relationships, influence others, and boost the productivity of their teams.
Intelligent leaders realize that above and beyond their competencies and abilities, they have a superpower that can shape the impact of their leadership: their attitude.
No one has any control over outside forces, circumstances, or events. We all control how we react to these outside factors, however. Charles Swindoll once said, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” By that theory, attitude is, indeed, a superpower. It’s even more potent if you find yourself in a leadership position with influence over people.
A positive attitude is a leader’s superpower.
As a leader, your attitude doesn’t influence your productivity or mood alone. In the office, it easily rubs off, impacting the team around you and even the employees you don’t meet every day. Leadership coaching understands the power of attitude and tries to exploit it, seeing leadership attitude as one of the building blocks of organizational cultures.
A positive attitude acts as a multiplier of your leadership abilities. It promotes hope, motivates people, and gives them a sense of direction. Negativity, however, defeats engagement and robs people of well-defined directions.
Here’s why leaders must maintain positive attitudes amid crises when the future looks bleaker than ever.
Leadership Positivity Equals Team Productivity
This is an obvious adage leaders have known for centuries. The attitude of a leader is contagious. People may see cynicism as a virtue these days, but if it is one, it certainly can’t move the productivity needle as positivity does.
Positive leadership attitudes create collaborative and supportive organizational cultures that value creativity. Positivity is not only better for the mental health of the leader; it also has a quantifiable positive impact on team performance.
Enthusiasm Motivates People
Like positivity, leadership enthusiasm is contagious. When a person is enthused about something, he or she assumes psychological ownership of whatever the target of the enthusiasm is.
When leaders let enthusiasm guide them in their work, they provide examples for their teams. When they feel enthusiasm for their work, people readily go above and beyond what’s strictly necessary. They make extra efforts and grow more confident.
Leadership Positivity Builds Resilience
Positive attitudes create personal resilience instantaneously. When life hits you with misfortune, positivity creates a buffer that helps you see the lessons in setbacks and allows you to bounce back stronger later. Negativity, on the other hand, tastes like defeat. It reeks of defeat even when life is fine and no setbacks sour your mood.
From the point of view of leadership coaching, resilience is an essential leadership ability and an indispensable prerequisite of leadership maturity. Mature leaders are optimists and are thus more resilient.
Optimism is the trait of mature leaders.
Optimism Boosts Problem Solving
Negative people build hurdles for themselves. When they meet a problem, they ponder its effects more and take longer to reach the stage of creative problem solving. Positive people instantly see potential solutions for every problem.
Optimism gives positive people the power to see past problems and spot potential solutions.
Positivity Helps Build Relationships
Positivity is a draw for people while negativity repels them. Executive coaching sees meaningful relationships as the cornerstones of successful leadership. It’s the leader’s job to build relationships with peers, stakeholders, and employees. Positivity allows leaders to become magnets to others.
Executive coaching professionals value the ability of leaders to attract people to their visions. There’s no room for abrasiveness or demanding attitudes in relationship-building. Authoritarian attitudes compel people to fall in line, but authoritarian leaders can never force team members to assume psychological ownership of their work.
Business coaching focuses on positives as well. The only way to move an organization forward is to overcome obstacles and embrace change. Without a positive attitude, these challenges may prove insurmountable.