I’m a no-nonsense farm boy originally from a dairy farm in central Maine. We’re not impressed with positivity.
I recently reconnected with my friend Jon Gordon (Mr. Positive Leadership). I’ve been skeptical of positive people because I’m negative. But Jon is the real deal. I love his story and respect his message. Here are my reflections from my conversation with him.
How to deal with negativity in a positive way:
#1. Embrace positivity publicly. No energy vampires allowed. Successful teams always struggle to overcome the sideways energy of negative team members.
- Confess to your team that you’re a dark cloud if you’ve been negative in the past.
- Acknowledge that teams go further with positive energy.
- Publicly commit to positive leadership.
- Invite your team to affirm your progress and point out your negativity when they see it.
- Call your team to join you on a journey toward positive leadership.
#2. Positive leadership isn’t about pixie dust. There’s nothing positive about ignoring negative issues. When things aren’t right, teams wait for courageous leaders to invite elephants to dance.
“Positive leaders are demanding without being demeaning.” — Jon Gordon
#3. Choose to address negative issues with a positive attitude. Adopt the no complaining rule. Point out problems with forward-facing curiosity and unwavering commitment to make things better.
“Being positive won’t guarantee you’ll succeed but being negative will guarantee you won’t.” — Jon Gordon
#4. Deal with energy vampires. Jon said:
- Lead in such a way that people want to be on your team.
- Work to transform negativity. Don’t just remove it right away.
- Remove negativity if you can’t transform it. Negativity is so powerful that if you can’t transform it, remove it.
“I don’t think you can be a leader if you’re not a positive leader.” — Jon Gordon
How might leaders deal with negativity in a positive way?