Who has really helped you in your life? 
What did they do and how did they make you feel? 
What do you want to be remembered for and by whom? 

These are simple questions that can help us be intentional about how we want to BE as leaders rather than getting stuck in default ways. Knowing how you want to BE as a leader gives you a picture of success that keeps you energized, focused and on track. 

A positive picture of success opens up possibilities

Recent neuroscience research by leading author and professor in Emotional Intelligence, Richard Boyatzis, shows that change is more likely to happen if it starts with and focuses on a PEA. That’s not a green round ball you eat …PEA stands for Positive Emotional Attractor. 

A Positive Emotional Attractor (PEA) is something that pulls us into a positive, renewal response that opens up possibilities and energy. An example of a PEA is a vision or picture of how you want to be as a leader. 

This doesn’t mean we ignore our development areas or Negative Emotional Attractors, and we need to be aware that these pull us into a negative stress response of ‘I need fixing’ or ‘I should’. We’re not talking about toxic positivity here, where we reject all difficult or perceived negative emotions in favour of a cheerful and often falsely-positive façade that is not grounded in reality. 

Research points to the need to focus more on the positive as a way to ignite optimism and motivate us along. A ratio of at least 3:1 or 5:1 of positive:negative feedback or focus is recommended to motivate us forwards, both in how we treat ourselves and others. This is corroborated by Nancy Kline’s Time to Think research. 

Impactful leaders value and believe in their people

Think for a moment of the standout leaders or people in your life who have impacted positively on you. It’s not those who ‘whipped’ us into performing who come to mind. The ones we respect are those who make us feel seen and valued. The ones who believe in us, who encourage and support us.

Football coach, Ted Lasso, in the wonderful Apple TV series, demonstrates this beautifully. Although he has no technical knowledge of the game he is coaching in the UK, he respects and values each player, and enthuses them forward by BELIEVING in them and inviting them to BELIEVE, in themselves, and in what’s possible. He builds connection by listening, paying attention, inviting input and offering honest feedback in a caring and empowering way. He also adds in his special dose of humour and lightness which endear people to him over time.

What’s your vision of how you want to be as a leader?

Here are a few steps:

  1. If you have a coach, bring it into your sessions. If you don’t have a coach and would like to try it out, contact me for a no-obligation taster session. 
  2. If you want to create this on your own:
    • Bring to mind others who have stood out for you and their traits and behaviours that inspired you.
    • Envision how you want to be as a leader and write down a first draft. 
    • Ask people around you for feedback on how you are as a leader in a ratio of 3:1 positive:constructive feedback. 
    • Use this input to adjust your vision so it feels positive, harnessed around your strengths, and grounded in reality. 
    • Bring your vision alive by experimenting with showing up to it and track your progress against it weekly.  

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