Going all in as a leader with positive energy

23 April 2019 Jonathan Faurie

How does positivity affect the workplace? I recently read an article on which discussed this at length. Particularly from a leadership perspective. 

Imagine you were at a poker table and on every single hand you had unlimited chips to play. Regardless of the cards you were dealt, you could play them all the way through to the end and could always go all-in. Would that change the way you play? Would it change the game and make it more fun? Of course it would! 

Upfront opportunities

The article points out that you actually have that opportunity in front of you as a leader, with endless chips and all. Your energy and your attitude are those unlimited chips; you can go all in on every single decision, action and issue in your life and your business. It is up to you. That is the most incredible concept about our mental power and the way it affects those around us, like our employees. 

In Victor Frankl's brilliant book Man’s Search for Meaning about his time in a concentration camp, he says, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.” 

The article adds that, thirty years later, Mary Poppins taught us brilliantly: "In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and snap! The job’s a game. Every task you undertake becomes a piece a cake. A lark! A spree! It’s very clear to see! That a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down." 

Both Frankl and Poppins teach us that the power of choice and attitude are up to you. 

Too many times leaders, entrepreneurs and managers seem to feel that attitude and energy are outside of our control. Actually, they're not. You can start every workday, every call and every project, and choose to go all in with your energy, your enthusiasm, and your excitement regardless of how frustrated or depressed you feel about the circumstances around you. 

Making smart choices

Here are three tips for making that mental choice and going all in every day as a business leader: 

  • Be so positive people wonder what’s wrong with you. I once met a person who was constantly pessimistic and negative. I think every other statement out of their mouth was why something wasn’t or couldn’t happen. In one particular meeting with them, I asked why they were so pessimistic, and their response was “I’m not negative; I’m a realist.”

    They seemed to love having a "negative personality.” My advice to fellow leaders is not to be proud of being the naysayer or being negative. Negativity can drain energy from yourself and those around you, which can negatively affect your employees' productivity and work quality. Don't be confused between the importance of realistic expectations or understanding facts and blind optimism. You shouldn't be a blind optimist, but at the same time, you can be so positive and encouraging that it becomes your reputation.

    For the leader, entrepreneur or manager, here are ideas for being positive:

    As a leader, jump in and work side by side with your employees. Do not be an "office leader" who walks to and from meetings all day. Do the work with people. Be in the trenches and uplift them.

    • As an entrepreneur, choose to lead with energy and positivity. Even if you are an introvert or quiet, you can still lead with energy.

    • As a manager, be grateful as your reports leave for the day. I once visited a company and watched their director of sales tell every single sales rep "thank you" for their hard work and shake their hand before they left for the weekend. Dedication indeed. 
  • Eliminate the negative content in your workplace. The article points out that leaders should take an audit of the content you take in every day, like talk radio, social media, politics, news, television and Netflix. How much of it is negative? So many people spend their morning commute listening to talk radio, watching television, or being a social media zombie because “I want to keep up on politics and news.” As a leader, I've found this content can be negative pollution in your brain. If someone put a little garbage in your dinner, you’d throw it out, right? Do the same with your content. If it’s pulling you down, throw it out.

    For the leader, entrepreneur or manager, here are ideas to add more positive content to your workplace:

    As a leader, be the supplier of good content to uplift your team. Constantly share positive, engaging content with your team; this can be relevant to your industry, sector or positivity in general.

    • As an entrepreneur, pipe podcasts into your break area that are uplifting and positive. On a low budget? Use a Bluetooth speaker and stream it. Keep it positive and engaging.

    • As a manager, pay attention to what the water cooler conversations are, and keep them positive. You are on the front lines and have to know when to shut it down and turn it around to keep your office a positive place to work. 
  • Offer a daily flow of positive reminders. The Forbes article adds that, with technology, it is so easy to subscribe to daily quotes, daily scriptures or daily affirmations for personal use. Further, you can keep a positive affirmations journal where you write down only positive thoughts. I've found that surrounding yourself with positivity increases productivity and reduces stress, and you can do the same in business.

    For the leader, entrepreneur, or manager, here are ideas to create a flow of positivity:

    As a leader, start an internal "Quote of the Day" or internal newsletter. Let the team see it starts from the top.

    • As an entrepreneur, absolutely plaster your walls with positive messages and your vision statement. Let employees, clients and partners see and feel your vibe.

    • As a manager, use positive music to create an atmosphere of "we can do anything." Music begets energy. Don't forget that. 

Going all in

The article points out that leaders should decide that they are  going to go all in on their very next decision for their next difficult task or that project they have been avoiding. Approach business with the most positive attitude and the most passionate excitement. 

Make the better choice by going all in.

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