Anyone who has worked for a negative boss, raise your hand. It’s no fun. It’s drudgery, really. It makes it hard to drag yourself into work in the morning, never knowing what the day ahead might hold: A well-rehearsed helping of blame, perhaps? That kind of negativity can drown a person’s desire to succeed.
The good news is that the flip-side is just as powerful.
We’re talking Star Wars level dualism here. Positive team leaders can inspire and motivate the people around them. To be clear, I’m not touting that uber caffeinated, saccharine stereotype of positivity – nobody wants to wake up in the morning and realize they’re more suited to life in a sitcom than to reality – I’m talking about genuine, well-rounded positivity. It’s infectious.
Effective leaders owe their success to passion, optimism, and skilful communication Click To Tweet. It might sound trite, but when you strip away employees who are hyper-focused on competition and climbing the ladder – a thinning-out which happens naturally when you take into account the effect that workplace stress has a person’s mental and physical health – the people left standing are the ones who love their work, don’t waste mental energy on negative gloom, and who are skilful at interacting with their coworkers.
Find Work You Love
There’s really no feigning passion.
Watching someone who hates their work is a lot like watching a baby eat a food he does not like. There’s a grimace, then an expression of betrayal followed by disillusionment, and if gone unaddressed eventually things start getting thrown.
The first step to being a successful leader is to make sure that you actually enjoy the work you’re doing. Doing work you love creates a positive feedback loop that fuels productivity. Anything else is just a waste of energy.
Even if you find yourself moderately successful in a field you dislike, imagine how much better you could perform in an industry you actually care about.
Focus on the Good
There are challenges and failures in any line of work. Team leaders are asked to handle those issues head-on and address them with elegant professionalism. No biggie right?
It’s a much simpler task when you’re able to devote all of your energy to fixing the problem instead of getting mired down in negativity. Don’t be too hard on yourself. There’s nothing wrong with making a mistake every now and again.
Communicate … Good
No one is a perfect communicator, but it’s important to try your best. Everything can be chugging along just perfectly, but if you’re isolated in your success you’ll find you won’t get very far. Modern business is all about teamwork. We’re all in this together.
A leader isn’t much of a leader if no one listens.
The most effective leaders are clear, tactful, and positive in their communications. If people don’t understand your vision, you’ll all be working toward different ends. Nothing makes for a failed project more than never actually completing it.
In summary, to be a successful leader in the workplace, simply know that you have all the tools already at your disposal. All you have to do is define your passion, act from a place of optimism, and use clear communication. It will take you further than you can dream, young padawan.
Brooke Faulkner is a writer and career optimist. When not writing, she can be found riding her bicycle by the river.