During a recent conversation with a colleague, we were discussing some of the qualities that made up the best leaders we have worked for. One thing that stood out was their positivity. This does not mean they are overly rosy or unprepared for bad situations, but rather they adopt the approach of focusing on the positive and how to move forward out of every situation. Here are three ways that being positive can be helpful to an entrepreneur.
Some people are optimistic; some pessimistic. If you look back, who would you rather work for? Inherently I find that positive people tend to have more followers and people look to be around them and the positive energy they create. Conversely, people often tend to shy away from the negative people on a team and scare/negative tactics by a boss may work in the short term but are often not successful in the long run. A cloud of negativity turns people away while a positive approach can bring people in and create excitement.
Managing Difficult Situations
It’s often easy to remain positive when things are going well, but what happens when they turn difficult? Some of the best leaders I see have a great way to frame the challenge as an opportunity. There can be a specific hurdle to overcome, goal to achieve, lesson to be learned, etc. They take the negative and turn it into something positive that can be done to improve the situation. In my experience this has much more of a positive effect than just complaining about the situation and the predicament you are in; it’s much more action oriented and shifts the team’s focus forward!
I regularly meet with entrepreneurs and while hearing their stories, it is easy to pick up on their level of positivity. As they describe their past experiences, do they negatively focus on other people and events, dwell on certain topics, and/or blame others for what happened? Or do they describe the situation and focus more about how the team came together to try and move past the challenge? Unfortunately, I sometimes hear more negatives around team, competitors, or other outside factors that do not reflect well on the entrepreneur to be a positive leader.
As a leader, you often can’t control what happens around you. But you can control your attitude and reaction. I love the quote “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” Try and choose the positive approach; not only is it more enjoyable for your team but it can lead to better outcomes in the long run.