Emotions spread like wildfire. Every emotion is contagious, whether we like to admit it or not. One negative person can ruin an entire team, but the good news is that one positive person can affect the attitude and performance of an entire team, too.
More than a decade ago, I went through some leadership training at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, NC. One of the exercises was particularly powerful. Unfortunately it took me more than ten years to understand the lesson it taught me.
Each of the members of the training were asked to order the steps in a manufacturing process from one to twenty. None of us knew manufacturing and that was the point. Since none of us was an expert, we would all end up with different processes.
Leaders who are positive and encouraging have more productive teams.
That is a fact.
When done right, a leader’s praise and recognition is more motivating than money. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook
“You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”
Maybe your mom said that too. I never really believed it until I became a leader, beginning with my first team at work more than ten years ago and continuing with my family today.
When I first became a leader in 2002, I was (trust me, this isn’t an exaggeration) ruthless, negative, and discouraging. I caught every mistake, pointed them out to team members in front of others, fired people on the spot, and rarely, if ever, encouraged my team members. In other words, I sucked as a leader.
“You should hire more entrepreneurial types,” I told a friend recently.
“But that would be total chaos,” he replied.
He is right. It would be total chaos. But it would also result in team members who are deeply invested in the performance of their division or team, just like an entrepreneur.