You’re the leader of the bunch, just keep smiling and everything will be ok! Actually, it takes more than that. When you are running the show, you need to stay positive, which involved more than just plastering a smile on your face.
Staying positive means that you lead from a place of knowing. A great leader knows that there is an answer or a way out there. It just may not be figured out yet. So when you are working through a problem or an issue, know that the answer is waiting to be found. It might take some work, it might be challenging or even painful, yet the answer is waiting to be found. I remember expanding programs once and staff were concerned about how we would fit all of the newly hired people into the existing office space. While I wasn’t sure either, I assured them we would find a way to make everyone fit and have that fit be workable to everyone. I then asked for their suggestions. By including them in the solution, they felt valued and that their concerns could be presented.
Being positive means that you are grateful for what you have and that you stop at to acknowledge that. During a staff shortage, acknowledge the great team you’ve got and what they are doing to pull extra weight. Doing a particularly busy time, recognize what you have been able to accomplish. And when you’ve just lost a big contract, take time to take an inventory of what programs you continue to offer.
Being positive means watching your inner voice and your outer voice are saying! What is the self-talk that is going on in your head? Is it positive? Does it sound like you are convinced yourself that things will work out and that there are options. And how does that translate when it comes out of your mouth to the people around you? Pessimistic and negative comments are breeding grounds for disaster. If your employees hear your worries and fears, they will question whether a positive outcome is even possible. This doesn’t mean you lie or withhold information. It might look like saying this: “Here are a couple of options about what might happen…I am optimistic that with everyone on board, we will be able to make Option A work”. This gives your team something to work towards.
Being positive comes from an authentic place. It is about being real and honest but also setting the direction of where you and your team are going. It’s ok to say, “We are going here. I am not sure how we are going to get there, but I know that together we will make it.”
I lead a full life full of love, adventure and growth. Check out my latest thoughts here.
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