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Long-term studies have proven that one of the most important indicators of success in a work environment are its leaders. The same studies have come up with the most basic characteristics that all these successful leaders share: a positive mindset and an empowering attitude. But what does it mean to be a positive and empowering leader?
By Mia Kollia
Translated by Alexandros Theodoropoulos
Most people have worked in places where coworkers, supervisors, or managers had a negative dynamic. Those people drain the mood and energy of everyone else, aiming only at their personal success and evolution.
Conversely, executives who seek to operate on the basis of enlivening and empowering others create an environment of positive energy. This environment functions like an engine that gives power to the people around, strengthening relationships and laying the foundations for corporate success.
The results of such a positive leadership approach are easily noticeable in our organisation as well. People who work in such environments show intense brain activity and increased levels of dopamine and oxytocin. These are the hormones that develop from positive interpersonal relationships, which help concentration, efficiency and even boost the immune system.
The "store" of physical energy can be depleted so it requires rest time. But the energy we invest in empowering interpersonal relationships strengthens our willingness to share it, creating work environments that are built on positive energy.
Research conducted by Professors Emma Seppälä and Kim Cameron identifies the following characteristics of positively energised executives:
- High efficiency in their personal projects
- Positive impact on the efficiency of those around them
- They are often found in successful organisations
Additionally, companies that hire and invest in positive leaders gain:
- Better teamwork
- Innovative ideas and practices
- Increased profits
Of course, the benefits also "extend" to the workforce:
- Minimization of staff turnover
- Satisfaction and pleasure
- Increase efficiency
Executives who approach their leadership position through the lens of positive interpersonal relationships simultaneously empower themselves, their organisations and their partners. They cultivate and reflect positive behaviors such as empathy, humility, kindness, trust, integrity, honesty, generosity and gratitude.
Especially these days that we are dealing with exhausted executives and workers after two years of pandemic, this leadership profile is more valuable than ever.
But it is worth noting that the essential empowering leadership approach is not superficial. This is not a frivolous display of fake emotions. After all, inauthentic behavior is immediately noticeable and can create an extremely negative environment.
Staff working with superficial and self-interested executives cannot be associated with them in any part of the work. On such occasions, interest decreases, there is poor communication with their colleagues and they tend to quit quickly, looking for new positions in more positive environments.
Leaders who give real importance to the everyday lives of their associates, who care deeply about every aspect of work and enhance the potential of employees, manage to put together a productive work environment with people who get real satisfaction from their work.
It is their abilities that give them great advantage in the business arena. They can revitalize companies, solve even the most complex problems and energise burned-out employees.
Of course, we already know that all employees have a need to feel important, to be rewarded and acknowledged. Executives who empower their staff act as catalysts to achieve these positive emotions.
Other related studies highlight that the way executives behave in promoting enlivenment and positive interpersonal relationships help reproduce these behaviors. Employees who have worked in these environments tend to try to replicate them when their career path brings them to the C-Suite level.
However, the most important difference is found in the duration of the results. In order for an organisation to truly flourish, long-term results are necessary. Bad, debilitating and detached leadership may bring some short-term results, but there will be no further development and that's because no team can function for a long time under bad conditions. Inevitably, performance and profits will decline.
By selecting business executives who recognise the value of meaningful human contact and seek to work with a positive sign, we invest in the long-term success of our companies and the improvement of our own working lives.