Jon Gordon’s 3 Things Positive Leaders Do (To Get Positive Results)

When many first hear the term “positive leadership” they assume that I’m just talking about a nice ideal way to lead that sounds great in theory but doesn’t address reality. I assure you this couldn’t be further from the truth. Positive leadership is not pollyana, impractical or theoretical. Positive leadership is powerful, real and practical. In this spirit I want to share 3 ways positive leaders lead:

1. Positive Leaders Provide Love and Accountability – I have found that the greatest leaders are able to lead with the right amount of both love and accountability. Alan Mulally, the former CEO of Ford and one of the greatest leaders in history told me, “You have to love your people. They have to know you care about them. But you also have to hold them accountable to the values, principles, culture and standards.” Too much love and not enough accountability and your team will love you but they won’t become great because of you. Too much accountability and not enough love and your team will initially strive to be great but will eventually disengage and fall short of their potential greatness.

2. Positive Leaders are Demanding without being Demeaning – Many think that positive leaders are people who smile all the time and don’t care about winning. The truth is positive leaders want to win. They are very competitive. They challenge people to pursue excellence. They are demanding. They just aren’t demeaning. Instead of calling people out, they call out the greatness within them.

3. Positive Leaders Create Clarity and Generate Focus – People often think that focus leads to focus but it’s actually clarity that leads to focus. The more clarity an organization, team and individuals have the more focused they will be. Positive leaders remove clutter, eliminate confusion, simplify, and create clarity that lets everyone know what they are supposed to do so they can take focused action. Everyone knows their job so they can do their job.

-Jon Gordon