Category: Career


The power of positivity.

Being a true leader even in tough times.

Positive-Thinking

In the face of adversity, we make choices. We decide how and to what extent we will involve ourselves in tackling conflicts. There are organizational conflicts and personnel conflicts. Even personal ones. We can’t control how others will act. We can only control how we will respond to crises, changes, and situations.

There is nothing more disheartening than encountering “professionals” that let negativity dictate their interactions with family, colleagues, and clients. We are not immune to the fact that the demands placed on professionals are limitless. Leaders find themselves equally as burdened by mandates, changing directives, disgruntled co-workers, employees, finicky clients, and the daily grind in life. Those of us that enjoy our work tend to thrive on these challenges; we enjoy brainstorming solutions and problem solving in order to improve and learn from experiences we confront.

Enter the power of positivity. As leaders, we cannot expect others to exude positivity without demonstrating this quality through our leadership. While some focus on maintaining daily tasks and remaining status quo (or are frankly just in survival mode), others are interested in taking living to the next level. What formerly was good enough just isn’t good enough anymore. This is referred to as positive deviancy, going beyond the norm in a positive direction, which will cause organizations to flourish, not just exist.

Focusing on the positives in these four domains:  climate, meaning, communication, and relationships, will enable leaders to take the next step in supporting a flourishing organization. What is at the heart of all of these domains? People. We’re truly in the people business. No matter where we go to work and what organization we work for, for most of us we have this one common thread, interacting with people.

Its easier to creative a positive culture in an organization experiencing success. The difficulties lie in times of adversity. When budgets are cut. When the pressure is on to perform. When home lives aren’t ideal. When there is conflict among staff. When the executive team isn’t supportive. When there aren’t enough resources.

We talk of reform and of change. So many are dedicated to improving, yet each day we encounter others in our communities who continue to resist and thus dampen our efforts. We cannot stand for this negativity. We cannot tolerate excuses.

Instead, we must lead positively and support our friends and colleagues along the way. What are some ways you’ve remained positive in your leadership efforts? How do you promote positivity in your organization? We’ve found these simple strategies to be successful through research:

  • Smile. Smile at people when you greet them. Smile when they say something amazing. Smile when they say something that exasperates you. If you give the impression that you are frustrated, upset, worried, etc., the people with whom you’re interacting will know it.
  • Keep a folder called “The Good.” Some have two. One in a desk drawer – where you file the thank you cards, children’s artwork, friendship letters, notes from staff…and the other is in your Inbox where you store much of the same. At those times when you need to say to yourself, “How can I keep up with the demands of this? Why do I do this?” Turn to the folders. And read. Smile. And remember very clearly why you do this.
  • Don’t act unless it’s in the best interest of serving people. Don’t speak it, say it, do it, unless it benefits people. Don’t waste energy on things that don’t. Being negative takes more energy than it’s worth. Did you know that?
  • Address the negative. Just like teachers use planned ignoring rather skillfully in their classrooms with students, there are some instances of negativity within an organization that are best ignored. Others are not. When the negativity seeps into the everyday actions of teachers, thus impacting life for students, it is no longer okay. Work with people. Help them see how their negative influences are detrimental to learning and are holding back the organization from greater success.
  • Celebrate. Celebrate everything, particularly the small successes. Help everyone in your organization see the value in what they do. Create a culture where it’s okay to brag. Share! Don’t limit your celebrations to within your work walls- be sure everyone in your community knows how excited you are about your work!

“If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may seem to be.” -John Heywood

 

(Thank you to “The Principal’s Posts” for your insightful advice that we adapted here.)

I have a hard time understanding why anyone would prefer to work as a team of one rather than lock arms and minds and be creative with others.

Firstly, it’s a lot more fun. Secondly, you don’t take 100% of the blame if things go south.

Seriously, I just find the creative process amazing. I don’t know if it’s because I lack confidence in my own choices sometimes or if I am smart enough to realize that maybe I just DON’T have all the answers.

For me, throwing out an idea and seeing where someone else’s imagination can go with it is a thrill. Their contribution inspires me to think in new directions and my contribution encourages them to do the same. What comes out of the mix is magic.

I have been called a control freak by many, but I learned from flying that if you are in an airplane and you are in a critical situation, a death grip on the yoke will lead to just that…crash and burn. We can over control. We can under control/contribute, as well. Each can lead to an unsatisfactory result.

So, take a look at how you operate in the world. Are you open to others? Are you willing to be wrong? To change? Will you acknowledge someone else’s ideas and share the wealth? Weren’t we always better when we played well with others? We may be all grown up, but teamwork, if you ask me, is still the answer.

When baby elephants are trained, they are tethered to a stake in the ground which prevents them from escaping. At first the elephant persistently struggles to get away but the stake is much stronger and the elephant soon learns it will not succeed, regardless of its efforts. As the elephant grows, the stake is replaced with a simple wooden stake that can easily be pulled from the ground. But oddly enough the elephant will not try to escape because it no longer questions its limitations.  It refuses to put forth effort where failure is surely the outcome….even though if it tried as an adult it could easily pull up the stake and run free.

We all have “stuff” in our lives that keep us tethered to our own imaginary stakes. Those stakes of fear and doubt are often easily removed if we choose and take action. The most exciting question you can ask yourself is where will YOU go after you escape the circus of fear and doubt?

Tell us your dreams!

Best,

Eva

Sometimes progress is easy and it just flows………sometimes.  More often than not we are met with obstacles.

Well, we hit ours at a million miles an hour, the two of us, Eva and Sue.  Idea’s flying like crazy, all over the place, all leading to…..THE BRICK WALL.

So what did we do?  We started writing this blog to help us get around, over, under, and through our creative obstacles.  Sometimes it’s hard to know when to temporarily walk away and take a deep breath. 

One never knows where inspiration will originate or when it will strike.  What we do know is that every time we hit “the wall” it’s not failure, it’s feedback.  We all must stop, reflect, and learn …and then continue the journey, whatever that may be.

 So what do you do when you hit your “BRICK WALL”?  Does it break you or do you eventually break through?

The only way we don’t make progress …is if we stop.  Don’t quit before pay day. 

You never know what lies on the other side of the wall.

Best!

Eva and Sue

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Hi everyone,

I am delighted to forward this email to you re:  my featured article on
the power of women in the latest edition of Networking Times Magazine.
There is also a wonderful review of The Lifeboard: Follow Your Vision.
Realize Your Dreams.View full article »

Art Credit: Francesco van der Zwaag

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In a world where we strive to constantly drive forward to better ourselves, whether it is through hard work in our careers, family relations, physical conditioning, emotional and spiritual fulfillment, or relationships within our own communities, we should also remember the value of appreciation. View full article »

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Communication is the exchange and flow of information and ideas from one person to another; we live in a society where so much of our communication is done through emails, texts, Twitter, etc. We have all likely had the experience where something was misinterpreted due to this kind of transfer of information. Don’t you think that it can, often, be challenging enough to have people understand our intentions? View full article »

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