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Lead with 4x the Impact: How Positive Energy Drives Performance

The most important factor in predicting the effectiveness of your leaders is a metric you’ve never thought to measure. Find a way to leverage it, and you’ll increase team performance by a factor of four.

Organizational development expert Dr. Kim Cameron, co-principal investigator for the Return on Values project and a professor with the Ross School of Business at University of Michigan, shares more in this short video.

Cameron says that though we often equate leadership with influence or charisma, the most effective leaders use positive energy – created by uplifting interactions – to build high-performance teams that drive positive results.

How to use this video:  Watch this video with your senior leadership team, then use the questions below to launch a discussion on the positive energy networks in your company. 

Discussion Guide

Cameron’s research reveals that positive energy trumps influence by a factor of four: positive energy leaders earn a better performance from their team – a performance that is exceptional compared to others around them.

Positive energizers are people who are trustworthy, reliable, attentive, transparent, and vulnerable. Cameron says this knowledge isn’t rocket science, but the results, when applied, can be spectacular.

Discuss the video with your team:

  • Identify someone in your company you consider to be a “positive energizer” – someone you feel energized when around. What does this person do that is exceptional? What kind of language does she use? How does she interact when part of a team? What kind of results does she produce?
  • Does your company measure or reward positive energy? If so, explain how you do it. If not – or not enough – brainstorm ways you could do so.
  • Think of a particularly challenging situation your company is facing or has faced. Did the leadership respond in a way that energized employees to tackle the challenge, or de-energized solution finding? What would an energy-full approach look like?
  • Ask your leaders to assess their own “positive energy” levels. In a one-on-one feedback session, have them share their assessments, along with three concrete examples of how they can increase their own positive energy levels.

Assess Your Own Positive Energy Levels

Take this five question quiz to assess your own positive energy level.

  1. My colleagues seem eager to have me on a project team. True/False
  2. My team members feel comfortable bringing me bad news because they know they can expect a reasonable and fair reaction. True/False
  3. I meet my deadlines and can be counted on to help others. True/False
  4. I have friendships at work. True/False
  5. I share credit for positive results. True/False

If you answered true for all of the above questions, then you are positive energizer. Look for new opportunities to develop this capacity in your team members. If you answered false for one or more of the items, then you have an opportunity for growth. Establish a plan for improvement and ask a colleague to hold you accountable.

Share your stories: Do you measure positive energy or have exceptional stories of positive energizers? We’d love to hear it – leave us a reply below.

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