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There was a high-producing sales leader who shot out of bed every day, performed at a high level, and always achieved all of his goals. This leader was a model of passion, compassion, and enthusiasm. He worked effortlessly, seamlessly, and received high praise as an example for what people should aspire to in their role.

The field loved this leader and associates from other teams reached out frequently for advice. Then one day someone noticed that the leader wasn’t as present as before. He took more time off than normal and passion waned for his role and team. This was odd and everyone tried to diagnose what went wrong. They couldn’t come up with a solution. A short while later this high producer who loved his job left the role and went to do something else.

What do you think happened? How could this organization let this person out of a role that was perfect for him and in which he was thriving?

Well, this person caught a dose of bad leadership— he got a new leader.

Where this person’s former leaders matched their leadership style to this leader’s talent, the new leader only managed one way—directive…treated everyone like they were new to their role with little recognition.

The new leader focused on the negative and the team soon saw this—even calling their boss dumb behind the boss’s back in front of their team.

This new leader put his peers down and was hung up on his title. He treated those “below him”—like admins and wait staff—poorly. It’s no wonder the team’s productivity slowed down.

It is surprising how much the relationship between a manager and a worker affects the worker’s job performance. Bad management practices deflate employee morale, cause stress that sometimes results in serious health issues, and costs the company more than just the cost of high turnover.

Disgruntled and mishandled employees stop caring about how well they perform in their jobs. Studies show bad leaders create confusion, stress, high turn over, and ultimately cost the organization money.

So this holiday season, are you naughty or nice? Are acting like a good leader or bad?

Check in with your people, thank them for the job they do, and lead them differently. One size doesn’t fit all. Coach them that way. People wake up every day with the intent to be successful. Don’t kick that backwards with your leadership.

The fantastic article “Impact of Positive Leadership,” by Tom Rath in the Gallop Business Journal discusses a study that showed that teams with a positive-to-negative ratio greater than three to one were significantly more productive than workgroups that did not reach this ratio. In other words, people need to have at least three positive interactions for every interaction that has negative emotions attached to it.

Tom Rath states in this article,

Positive leaders deliberately increase the flow of positive emotions within their organization. They choose to do this not just because it is a “nice” thing to do for the sake of improving morale, but because it leads to a measurable increase in performance.

Take Rath’s advice this holiday season and “search for opportunities to invest in everyone who works for [you and] … view each interaction with another person as an opportunity to increase his or her positive emotions.”

This is the kind of cheer that your employees need and appreciate all year long.

Question: What do you do as a leader to increase positive emotions around you? 

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