I’m sitting here Monday morning thinking about the start of the week and the things I’m looking forward to trying to accomplish this week when a person comes into the gym and every word out of their mouth is negative. They are the definition of an Energy Vampire. It’s “I hate Monday’s,” “I have so much work to do,” “traffic on Monday’s is always the worse.” Every single thing is against them and their whole week is going to suck because they have to give a presentation today and the project was so stupid to begin with. I don’t know about you, but I felt some of my energy being sucked out of me just writing that introduction paragraph. Yikes, imagine feeling like this every Monday, or working with this person, or thinking that everything that happens in life is such a downer, or life is always against you. I’m exhausted thinking about this and it’s only been sixty seconds.
It really is amazing how much better you can feel just by thinking positive thoughts. Give this a shot for the upcoming week; every morning wake up and say to yourself “today is going to be a great day!” Please try it, you might amaze yourself at how this simple routine can change how you look at the each day, week, month, and year. If you’re someone who feels they’re already pretty positive and full of good energy try to be positive for the first hour of your day, two hours, etc. You get the idea, positive energy and being constantly optimistic is a skill that can be learned. It’s something we can develop over time. It’s also something that will change the speed at which you work, the power in what you say and the way you attract others to want to be around you when you talk. Nobody wants to follow a leader that is constantly bringing their team down. Or even if they don’t bring their team down, but constantly feels bad about themselves, how awful!
Energy is contagious, look at some of the best leaders in sports right now. High energy positive people who have a way of looking to the bright side of situations. Coaches like Dabo Swinney, Ed Orgeron, Kerry Coombs, Greg Popovich, Brad Stevens, Steve Kerr, to name a few, have mastered positive energy and leading with love and care for their players. This is how they inspire others and how they overcome failure during their sport and rise up stronger from it. They lead with genuine positive infectious energy. They push those around them to be great and demand more from them because those they lead know how deeply they care for them. It’s incredible how simple energy and love is to understand, but learning how to apply it to leadership takes years of practice and a true understanding of who you are, where you want to go, and who you want to take with you.
As a leader you must control the controllable and accept the rest as part of the journey. As a leader you must have a clear vision of who you are and what you want from your journey, then hold true to that vision no matter what others say or do to try to push you off course. You must invite others to share your vision with you, without the support of others and a team you’re not a leader. Great leaders have a way of sharing their vision and making others want to be a part of it. They have people waiting in line to jump on with them. Strong high energy leaders also know when to kick someone out of their car, bus, train, plane (whatever mode of transportation you’re on) and this allows them to keep rolling on when others try to suck the energy from the team.
You may be at this point thinking, how do I become this positive energy person? How do I steer away from bad, negative energy? What can I do to inspire those around me to follow or join me? The truth is that to become this person isn’t overly complex, but it is challenging. You have to look deep into yourself and begin to see the light around everything. It takes a series of steps and maybe a couple rules to follow. However, with a little work and the right support system everyone can become a high energy leader and transform those who carry negative energy into believers themselves.
I think the most important thing to becoming a more positive person is to understand that you control where your life is going. It may sometimes seem like everything is out of your control, and you have no say in what’s happening around you, but at the end of the day it’s your life. As Jon Gordon says, “you’re the driver of your bus.” I think this is one of the most important things to learn and understand when it comes to becoming a positive energy leader. You control where your life is going, you control how you’re getting there and what path you take. It is your life, not anyone else’s. Take hold of the wheel of your proverbial bus and steer that bad boy in the direction you want to go. Will there be speed bumps, detours, and times you need to stop for gas or fix a flat tire; absolutely, but it’s up to you if you decide to change directions or go somewhere else.
This is why it’s so important to know who you are and have a clear vision of where you’re going. The purpose and vision you have for yourself, relationships, work, etc. will determine how steady you stay on your path. If you’re unsure of who you are and where you’re going, it’ll be easy to get sidetracked or lose focus on the bigger picture of your life. Take time to sit down and map out your path. Set a course for where you want to go and what stops you want to make along the way. Much like we use GPS to find our way to new places, we must do the same for our lives. We know where our end game is, but we often don’t know the directions off-hand to get there. Map it out. Then if there’s construction detours, accidents or breakdowns along the way, you just recalculate the route instead of getting lost and aimlessly drive hoping to find your way back to the route.
In parts 2 and 3 I’ll elaborate on additional pieces of positive energy and how to build a stronger team with your vision and energy. In the meantime it’s important to focus on how you can begin to change the way you look at events in your life. It’s time to stop thinking that things happen to you and believe that things happen for you. Everything that happens does so for a reason, hold on to your vision of who you are, know your purpose, and drive you and your team forward together. Continue to be a positive light for those around you and feed of the positive energy in every situation. Those who don’t share your vision or want to suck the positive energy out of each moment must be let go. The change for a positive life full of great opportunities and positive energy starts with you!