Frank Sinatra crooned those words back in 1965 to get across the point of the song’s punch line: “You can’t have one without the other.” So, it is with managing today’s workforce. The horse and carriage may be long gone but trust and positiveness are paramount in order to be a successful leader today. You can’t have one without the other.
This is far from encouraging touch-feely attitudes or false praise, but trust and positiveness go a long way toward creating a healthy culture within an organization. There is a lot of recent research that suggests that a good corporate culture increases productivity and employee morale that often leads to customer satisfaction.
How often have you dined or shopped somewhere and raised a question, only to receive a response like, “They (the employers) decided to do it that way.” The use of “they” instead of “we” from an employee is often indicative that employees have not been empowered to feel like part of a family.
Consider the case of Prudential Retirement which merged with worldwide healthcare giant, CIGNA in what was described by some as an antagonistic marriage.
To sum things up in the words of Jayne Warrilow, Founder, and CEO of LinkedIn, “Trust is more important than ever to our lives and businesses. It requires that leaders view those they work with as a whole and complete beings, not as ‘human resources’.”
Prudential’s CEO, John Kim, recognized the distrust and frustration of his employees and quickly brought in trainers to lead positive leadership sessions Not only did Kim witness a 20% increase in annual growth but the head of its real estate subsidiary was so impressed that he instituted the same in his companies.
The result? $20 million in profits compared to a $70 million loss a year earlier, lower employee turnover, and a rise in the value of their stock.
Tips for Positive Leaders
Positive leaders engage and challenge their employees. They ask for and honor employee input. This isn’t to say that all suggestions are good or practical, but every suggestion is respectfully heard and not publicly placed on the witness stand.
Leaders today no longer have the luxury of looking at their peers as the lord in a fiefdom. Today’s workforce has changed.
Some CEOs write at least one thank-you card or note of recognition to an employee each day. Part of the positive package also includes forgiveness, kindness, and compassion. This may be difficult for some leaders to implement immediately but can be learned.
And if these examples aren’t enough to motivate or interest you, consider that because high performing organizations strive to remove or reduce obstructions to employee success and honor their achievements, they were found to have three times as many positive-minded leaders than ordinary organizations.
Studies also show that during a crisis in a typically positive environment, employees are more able to focus on solutions and work together as a team, rather than search for excuses or insulate themselves.
To achieve and stay in a positive frame of mind, experts advise finding a daily routine that puts you in a place you want to be each day. They also advise throwing out bad habits that detract and acquiring new ones that enhance your goal of positivity.