The Five Signs of a Positive Leader

How to be positive

Do you remember a time when you felt energized and inspired by a positive leader?  What inspired you about that person? How did they lead the organization?

When I began my career journey in the hospitality field, I was lucky to be surrounded by positive leaders. When I was still in college, I was working at a small extended stay Marriott hotel.  My first manager at that hotel was Robin.  Although we were a smaller hotel with only had about 50 employees, Robin knew how to create a positive culture to inspire people to come to work every day.

I was personally very motivated and hungry to learn from Robin. I was new to the industry and wanted to build my career around positive people. Robin was more interested in the success of each person on the team than her own trophies and responsibilities as a hotel general manager.

Our success as a hotel with a Marriott brand was evaluated on similar scoring system of the balance score card that was a reflection of service and financial success of the hotel. Our company was divided into regions and a healthy competition was encouraged.

Robin took the time to tap into each person on her team and find out what makes them thrive. She took the time to train, coach and mentor people to become the best they can be. She felt that if she gives her time and efforts to set someone for success, it will come around and the team would make the hotel shine.

Most importantly, through her leadership, people felt connected to the mission and values of the company. We as a whole felt energized and ready to conquer whatever was in our way to success.

The greatest competitive edge any company can have is a positive and engaging workforce. People want to be part of something that has a meaning and purpose. Do their contributions matter to the work place and how their leaders tap into their energy?

When I think of positive leaders, three people come to mind that shaped their organizations not only for the short term success but a long term legacy.

The three leaders that model positive leadership are Herb Kelleher with Southwest Airlines, Tony Hsieh with Zappos and Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines.

Their leadership is infectious by creating a positive working environment for their employees. They understood several key principles that created a competitive advantage not only in their industry but almost re-inventing the landscape of working cultures.

So, let’s take a look at the five key ingredients to positive leadership:

Positive leaders focus on people– You have to be genuinely interested in people. Everyone has a gift inside them and should be respected for who they are as a person. Liking people or being interested in people does not mean you always going to agree with them or not hold them accountable. When you create an environment of cherishing people, it creates a momentum of trust where these relationship allow you to hold people accountable as a leader.

Positive leaders create a culture of meaning– Positive Leaders work tirelessly on setting up a culture that helps people discover a purposeful meaning into their work.  They try to find out what brings people alive?  Positive leaders want to know and act upon each person aspirations and talents.  When you have a culture of purpose and meaning, people feel energized that they can contribute and make a positive difference in the work place.

Positive leaders are the energizer bunnies– As a leader you have to lead by example. Ask yourself, are you being the chief cheerleader on the team? Can people feel the energy and the positive vibrations you are transmitting? Remember, people don’t follow the vision without buying into the person. If you are not living and leading positively, most likely the team would not follow.

Positive leaders allow people to be themselves-positive leaders do not change people. They lead people. Can you think of a time when you were persuaded to change or lead to change? Positive leadership happens when people are valued for who they are and great leaders understand it’s a foundation to build people up instead of changing someone to their likings.

Positive leaders help people grow-If we want our employees to succeed, we have to be interested in their growth and potential. Is anyone learning anything? Am I developing people to the next level? Positive leaders want people to take their job one day. They want people to advance and move forward.

What have you experienced from positive leaders in your life?



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