It’s a term being talked about a lot more frequently in classrooms, board rooms and locker rooms.
When leading businesses talk about the secret of their success being positive energy and winning sports teams give credit to their coach as being a positive influence, we have to stand up and take notice.
What is positive energy? How do I get it? How do I infuse my team with it?
And with questions come answers; lots of them.
Leading business is catching on fast and the latest neuroscience proves that those that lead with positive energy are the ones that are ahead of the pack.
Leading researchers in the field of neuroscience such as David Rock, who wrote the book Neuroleadership, demonstrates that positive people, positive interactions and positive work cultures produce positive results. There is a growing proof that positive energy is the cure for the ailing business, the battered leader, the negative leadership team and the “sick” and “tired” morale and culture..
Yet, while I agree with this research, there is a bigger, deeper question that is often overlooked when we discuss positive energy. That is why when I speak to business leaders and executives I ask them a simple question. “If positive energy is so important, and we all agree that the research demonstrates it works, then why aren’t more companies, more positive?” Why are there not more people arriving at work full of smiles, eager to create the culture of positivity and loving their jobs?
If positive energy is so important and leaders know it, then why does negativity cost companies 300 billion dollars a year according to the Gallup Organization. And why do so many companies have morale and productivity challenges with 42% of workers suffering from burnout according to a recent Harris Interactive survey?
The answer is simply because positive energy doesn’t happen by osmosis and it clearly doesn’t happen by sitting around, holding hands and chanting ohm! Successful, positive companies with positive employees and positive cultures are created like anything else. Through a set of principles, processes, systems and habits that are ingrained in the corporate culture and each individual employee. Positive companies aren’t born. They are developed. When it comes to corporate families there is no such debate about nature versus nurture. It’s all about nurture.
Positive Leaders are Required
In order to build a positive company, then, it is essential that there is not only a positive leader but a positive leadership team who believes in nurturing and developing a culture of positive energy. Too many times I have addressed a group or company to motivate the employees with positive energy and a few minutes after my talk someone will come up to me and say, “this all makes so much sense but the leaders who need to hear this are not here and that’s the problem.” They are right. To build a positive entity, fueled by positive energy you’ll need to first get the leadership team on track with the positive energy culture.
While positive energy trickles up and sideways through an organization, it flows powerfully from the top down; from leaders, to managers, to employees to customers. If you have positive energy trickling up the organization but your leaders and managers are causing negativity to flow down, the positive energy gets surrounded like the sun on a dark, cloudy day, creating a negative culture.
Nurture the Root
Building a positive, successful company also requires leaders to have a long term vision and an understanding that too many of their counterparts focus on the fruit of the tree, rather than the roots. Leaders who run successful, positive companies know that when you take care of the root of the tree you will always be pleased with the fruit it supplies. If you ignore the root, eventually the tree will dry up and so will the fruit. To nurture the root of your company you’ll want to feed it lots of positive energy. And this is done by leaders who believe in the benefits of positive energy. It needs to be ingrained in everything.
To fuel your business and growth with positive energy and ingrain it in everything you do here are a few best practices and strategies that will get you and your team on the positive energy track and moving in the right direction.
Hire Positive People
When you have positive people working alongside you, you are more likely to have a positive company.
When people feel fearful or uncertain or unheard they start thinking the worst and act accordingly. And as negative energy fills more voids and grows in these gaps, the positive energy can’t flow through the organization. By designing systems that enhance communication you eliminate the gaps and allow positive energy to flow through the company.
Fill the Void with Positive Energy—Constantly and Systematically
Once you have a healthy communication system in place you’ll want to make sure you fill every aspect of your company with positive energy. If positive energy is always flowing through the organization then negativity can’t breed or take hold. The key is to implement systems that foster more positive interactions, positive feelings, and a positive culture. Performance will improve, morale will improve and absenteeism will decrease which means profits wil grow. Positive energy only takes root if it is ingrained in a system and process.
Eliminate Energy Vampires
Not with silver bullets or garlic but with a system. Many leaders know who their negative employees are but they don’t know what to do with them, so they do nothing which leads to dangerous consequences. One person can’t make a team. but one person can break a team. Like a cancer, one energy vampire can spread negativity throughout a team and organization. While you should give them a chance to get on track with the positivity culture and contribute as a team player, if they don’t make the necessary changes, then you’ll have to let them move on.
Create a Shared Vision and Purpose
Howard Shultz, founder of Starbucks told his people from the beginning that we are not in the coffee business serving people but in the people business serving coffee. He not only shared his vision for where Starbucks was going but he inspired people with a sense of purpose to make a difference and enjoy the process. Vision helps everyone in the organization focus on the goals that will lead to their success while purpose inspires them to work longer, harder and more passionately. If everyone in your company is on track, and running in the same direction with a deeper sense of purpose, then you’ll have a powerful, positive and successful team. Vision and purpose not only keeps people on track, but it causes them to pull out all the stops, when the going gets tough.
Working with MNA Recruiting has been a joy and a pleasure. Lindie understood that positive energy is not a cure all for her business and always hires smart, intelligent and insightful people that deliver results. She has a knack for getting the right people on her team that will get on track with her powerful vision for serving her industry ahead of the pack.