I believe leadership comes from a yes attitude! Positivity has always been part of the way I live my life. I am a very strong advocate for optimism and I truly believe that the best way to get anything done is with positivity. This is probably why I am so naturally drawn to the idea that leadership comes from a yes instead of no.
Lately I have experienced firsthand some leadership/facilitation techniques that tell me the rest of the world is beginning to agree with my optimistic outlook on leadership in life. For instance, even just saying the word “No” to activity participants is becoming the wrong thing to do. Facilitators are now twisting that negative statement into one that sounds a tad more encouraging. A few years ago, asking your activity leader for more details on how to solve an activity meant being greeted by “No, I can’t help you anymore than I already have.” Now we are hearing from facilitators “You have all the information you need.” It’s still not the most pleasant sentence to hear, but in nixing the negative words the statement now has an air of encouragement to it. As if the leader were saying I have given you the tools you need for success and I know that you hold the ability to work through this problem on your own. Another phrase that has begun to infiltrate the vocabulary of young leaders is “You have the opportunity to begin again.” This is a much more positive way of saying you screwed up and have to go back to the start of an activity. Even just that small tweak in the positivity of the message has increased the effectiveness of facilitators and leaders, allowing them to better motivate and encourage those they aim to lead.
For further proof of the effectiveness that “yes” has on leadership I ask that you look to Rosie the Riveter. Although she wasn’t even a real person her positive message was powerful enough to lead around three hundred and fifty thousand (350,000) American women into the workforce during World War II. Her optimistic stature and encouraging message made her somewhat of a public leader and the results her campaign turned speak for themselves when it comes to the role positivity played in her success. Many other posters circulated with Rosie’s but none contained the same optimism as hers and none can boast the act of leading thousands of women into the workforce during one of America’s roughest times. I’d say that’s some pretty effective leadership for a piece of poster paper!
Seeing leaders use methods similar to the ones I mention above, methods that spread the idea of positivity and are more focused on encouraging people, just shows even more the powerful role a yes attitude plays in effective leadership. It makes me excited to go out and motivate action using nothing but the power of positivity to make others see that they are capable of accomplishing great things!