For most, I believe the line, “the power of the positive,” is relatively intuitive, and is not only a mantra to lead by, but also a mantra to live by. Of course, within leadership skills, I find this to be one of the most effective and efficient enablers when dealing with our teams, business issues, and our own internal selves. I am not talking about blind optimism here; I am simply talking about being positive. It seems to me that the human brain is wired to be negative. We anticipate threats and we exaggerate threats. It’s a protective reaction which can be burdensome, especially when we lean too far towards the negative. In general, with positive people, we remember their upbeat nature or “glass is half full” mentality. For me, I also find positivity to be contagious. I’ve seen the knock-on effect throughout my organization as well as with my friends and family. I find myself energized when I am about to engage with people who I know are going to be upbeat, and positive. I also believe I do far more for people that are upbeat and positive towards me.
I believe there are two extraordinarily important traits that work extremely well to enhance positivity. The first is energy. Energy is a critical part of positivity because we must have inner fuel to always be up for what faces us each and every day. Everyone understands negativity zaps your energy. When I feel negative, I feel tired and uninspired to keep pushing. Energy really helps block out the negativity. We can simply move past it in a physical way or continue pushing forward by engaging a positive mental aspect.
The second is perseverance, which is about believing you will be successful. Knowing you are going to keep pushing and knowing you are going to do it well, in general, keeps out the negative and keeps you focused.
I spent a number of years in the world of triathlon racing. From completing a full Ironman race, to participating in an age group race, energy and perseverance are what allowed me to move forward every day and push myself to explore my limits. It’s the same in business.
In our world of volatile retail, I believe positivity can also truly be commercialized. It is easy to understand that you are able to see more opportunities when you are leaning positive than the opportunities you see when you lean negative. Additionally, from a talent attraction and development standpoint, driving positivity can have a fantastic effect on your broader culture. When I am building teams, I consistently look at the positive nature of people when selecting them, and as it relates to career advancement.
Getting to positive isn’t hard either. Starting the day with a “good morning” and a smile, goes a long way to changing your outlook and the outlook of those around you. One of the few things you get to choose every day, from an attitude perspective, is how you start each interaction. I encourage you to find those things that let you start positive. If it’s a morning jog, stretch, or just some cleansing breaths, it’s important to ensure you start in the correct place. Positivity also requires you to be present. When you are present in the moment for people, they will recognize it, and your authentic positivity will land with them.
Life can be challenging. Use your energy and perseverance to unleash the impact and power of the positive.
* Vice President of Sales, Walmart & Sam’s – Unilever
* Title and company of the author reflect their position at the time article was written.
The opinions expressed here by guest bloggers are their own, not necessarily those of Stout Executive Search.