Leadership Series Part 1of 3---Three Ways to Be a Positive Leader

Over the next couple weeks I will provide insights on leadership development on both a personal and professional level. In Part 1 of 3 in our Leadership Series we discuss:

What type of leader are you? 3 ways to be a positive leader

We all lead in some way or another. We may lead our household, lead our kids through life, or lead peers at work. Whether by official title or not—we all lead. But the real question is: Are you a positive or negative leader? Entire books, studies, college courses, and experts have worked to define and shape how we interpret and approach leadership. Leadership can be defined in many different ways through many different lenses of perspective but I like to keep it simple. My 10+ yrs in leadership positions in education, coaching, and business have helped me in identifying a few characteristics of successful leadership.

I like to define any leader in 2 ways: Positive or Negative. Although it seems obvious, many leaders really have no idea whether they are having a positive or negative effect on those that follow them. They simply go about their day doing what they have always done. Many leadership styles are inherited or shaped from past experiences with other leaders whether they are positive or negative. Most people are energy matchers; give off positive energy and those who you lead will match. Give off negative energy and they will match. Here are 3 ways to be a positive leader:

3 Ways to Be a Positive Leader

Do you encourage or discourage? Be the encourager. Encouraging leaders offer guidance during tough times and focus during the best of times. These types of leaders invoke a sense of openness and trust within their team which is reflected in their work. Positive reinforcement goes a long way --People respond to encouragement. People shut down when discouraged. Nothing gets accomplished when people shut down.

Are you an empowering leader or a micro manager? Empowering leaders provide opportunities for their team to flourish and “do their thing”. Micro managers get in the way of their team by asking to be involved in all aspects. A micro manager is called that for a reason—they are constantly looking at the micro picture. As leaders we need to see the macro picture and start operating our business as such. Most micro managers do not trust that their team will get the job done, thus making them feel the need to be involved in day to day activities. Empowerment of a team comes with trust. The leader must trust that his team has been trained properly and knows what to do.

Do you teach or scold? Leaders take the time to teach their team when they make a mistake instead of scolding and moving on. When you make a mistake you usually know it—your team feels the same way; they usually know when they have made a mistake. Instead of scolding and chastising, take the time to teach them. I’ve learned that people don’t know if you don’t tell them. As the leader we need to educate them on the proper process, task, or way of doing things. This will go a long way in retaining employees and keeping your team on your side.

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