Positive vs. negative leadership

Being negative solves nothing—and more often than not, it causes people to shut down and disengage, says Jon Gordon, author of The Power of Positive Leadership. He believes that the best leaders share optimism, hope and inspiration—even when things go wrong. Consider these three scenarios:

An employee missed a deadline again. Negative leaders attack the person and focus on the past. Positive leaders attack the problem and focus on the future. “Leaders should identify why the under-performing employee has not delivered and coach the person to solve the problem and achieve success,” he says.

An employee made an excuse for missing a goal. Negative leaders complain and blame. Positive leaders identify opportunities for improvement. “You can dwell on the past or look forward to making the next opportunity great,” he says.

An employee violates policy. Negative leaders ignore problems for some people and act harshly to others. Positive leaders address issues head on and hold all employees accountable.“If someone violates the process and you don’t address it, everyone knows you aren’t committed to it. But when you love people and hold them accountable, it’s amazing how fast things can move in the right direction,” he concludes.

—Adapted from “Negative Vs. Positive Leadership (and Why You Should Choose the Latter),” Bud to Boss Blog, www.budtoboss.com.