As many of you might know, our minds are programmed to be defensive. We are naturally negative in order to defend ourselves. The cliché phrase that our thoughts become ideas, our ideas become words, our words become actions, etc, isn’t too far off the mark. Even more significant is the fact that, as a leader, any negativity from you is compounded down the line. Negativity you hear from the worker at the McDonald’s drive through affects you for maybe a few seconds before you get your food. Negativity from a leader, however, can be a detrimental contagion in the work place that lasts much longer than the McDonald’s drive-through.
So here’s your simple task and challenge: Try to start all of your shifts this week being positive, and see how this practice impacts your commitment and impact as a leader.
This isn’t to say that you should say a few nice things, call it quits, and say you attempted the challenge. Give this an honest try, see how long you last, and combine it with your efforts of last week. See what stops you from being positive. Also, don’t let one negative moment ruin everything. Get back on the horse if you slip off.
Take time after each shift to measure the results and differences. How did people react to you? Did you feel more or less productive?
Good luck with this one! Let me know what you think and how it went.