New Year Resolution: Positive Behavior

With 2012 complete and plans (vows?) are MP900443188considered for the next 12month period, the business “To Do” list will consist of things that need to be better. Sales efficiency, equipment improvements, employee productivity, product or service short comings may represent many of the specific activities that need attention that leaders believe to be fundamental to improving the business and increasing the bottom line year-to-year.

One activity that is most likely missing is how the leader as the senior manager of the operation can be a more positive factor in the success of the business.

Many leaders in their minds clearly see how other people and things that need to change but do not turn that same scrutiny on their own performance and influence on the organization. It is the rare leader who evaluates their personal situation first. This requires a degree of humility and self-confidence that is typical of seasoned and mature leaders.

Many leaders mistakenly view such introspection as a weakness and exposure to criticism. They fear that subordinates would take advantage of the results and compromise efforts by the leader to improve the performance individuals in the group. If that attitude is present then adopting a positive behavior is a good prescription for the leader to deal with it and improve the positive impact of the leader in the business.

Positive Behavior
Many rise to leadership positions for their work ethic, commitment to over coming obstacles, and their reputation for “getting the job done.” However, those fitting this profile do not always promote positive behavior.

Does this say that these “successful” leaders have negative behavior – not necessarily, but they may not project a positive attitude or relationship to those they work with – employees and customers?

In many cases the hard work ethic will chafe on other employees, when the needs of others are not dealt with in the course of achieving challenging business objectives. This might be recognizing work demands on personal lives or just recognizing that good things are being accomplished on the way to achieving tough business objectives.

What Can Be Done Better
A key to projecting a positive behavior is to engage with those that you are working with not only professionally but personally as well. How others view your positive behavior is also the basis upon how they view how positive the work environment is.

Score yourself on the following seven factors based upon how you view yourself and how you think others view you and / or the work environment that you are responsible for.

Attitude Toward the Job
Take an active interest in how your employee’s view the job as defined by what they specifically do and with whom they have to work with. The greater the positive attitude the more involved they are in what they do, make better suggestions, do not delay in confronting and dispatching issues, and are prone to creating a positive attitudes on the part of others.
Selecting the Right People 
A high-performing team is based on people being the right fit for the job they have been assigned. While some of this comes with experience and training the core foundation of a high performer is their mental temperament, scalable core competency, and ability to deal with the pace and stress of the job assignment.Much of this can be determined by an exhaustive recruiting process to make sure that people added to the group are a good match for what they are asked to do. Group interviewing by the team compliments a good selection process to gauge the chemistry of the potential employee with the working team members.
“Can Do” Attitude
A leader that has a “Can Do” attitude sets the tone for what is the appropriate attitude when adversity occurs. People often see problems as being far more than they really are. A “Can Do” attitude can deflate the significance of a problem and reduce it down to manageable parts that can be accomplished expeditiously by first line employees without escalating to a management crisis.
Trusted Environment
Building a trust relationship within the business gives people the confidence to extend themselves and do more than they might be normally expected to do. This does not mean that constant performance below expectations is permitted but in a trusted environment interactions are above board with nothing under the table. If your are falling behind or struggling the senior person (lead, supervisor, manager, CEO) will be up front and explain what needs to be done and move on.Eliminating political elements in the team and organization is another important aspect of creating trust where people who take advantage of others is not tolerated.
Develop a Positive Culture
A positive culture is contagious where people motivate others and pick up those that are down. The benefits of a positive work environment were mentioned above but building a positive culture is dependant upon the leader at the top.A positive culture is stimulated by the way the leader deals with those who report to him, how he responds to the professional and personal needs of employees, and how he handles adverse conditions not only internally but publicly as well.
Take Time to Listen
Leadership that takes time to listen to employees has the opportunity to hear what is on their minds. In many cases good suggestions come out of these discussions as well as the opportunity to deal with misperceptions and or rumors that may be filtering through the business causing concern and frustration.
Deal With Conflict and Poor Performers
Some leadership teams foster an intimidating environment of conflict as a management style. This generates a negative environment causing people to pull away and avoid extending themselves and exposing themselves to risk.


How did you score?

Have you been prompted to set a new course for 2013?

While you feel all of the factors above should be part of your organization your progress toward achieving them will fall short unless you are actively involved and they will not reach full implementation and benefit to the business.

When you set goals and objectives for the business I think you now realize that you need to come first. While you may feel others need to change to improve your business you may be the one who needs to change first and project a positive behavior.


  1. I had the opportunity a few weeks ago to watch one of my clients deliver a keynote at a national conference, and while I expected nothing less than an outstanding presentation, what I ended-up witnessing was a true masterclass in the contagious, inspirational power that comes from positive leadership. What made this presentation so powerful was it was more than just an act put on for the benefit of the attendees, it was completely authentic and the audience knew it. This is a relatively new client, but I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt, his positivity sets the tone for the entire organization and has produced incredible results. Let me be clear – don’t underestimate the power of a positive attitude.

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