How To Be A Positive Leader Book Summary By Jane E. Dutton and Gretchen M. Spreitzer

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How to Be a Positive Leader is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in learning the ins-and-outs of becoming a positive leader.

The book's contents draw from cutting-edge research in the field of Positive Organizational Behavior, which emphasizes how companies can foster a positive attitude towards work and strive for high performance among employees.

The authors provide compelling examples from real organizations to illustrate their points.

Readers will benefit from this valuable source of insight and strategies to help inspire and motivate those around them.

How To Be A Positive Leader Book

Book Name: How to Be a Positive Leader (Small Actions, Big Impact)

Author(s): Jane E. Dutton and Gretchen M. Spreitzer

Rating: 4.2/5

Reading Time: 22 Minutes

Categories: Management & Leadership

Author Bio

If you're looking for a book on how to become an effective, positive leader then look no further than How to Be a Positive Leader, edited by organizational scientists Jane E.

Dutton and Gretchen M.


Their expertise in the field is evident as this book is filled with insightful insights from notable contributors such as Adam Grant, the author of Give and Take, and Amy Wrzesniewski of Yale School of Management.

Each and every one of these distinguished authors bring knowledge and expertise on carefully chosen topics that will help equip any leader to effectively lead their team positively in the workplace.

This book has been put together to serve as a guidebook for those looking to make their mark as successful leaders.

How To Be A Positive Leader: A Guide To Negotiating Salary, Maintaining Motivation, And Cultivating Gratitude In The Workplace

Maintaining Motivation

If you’re looking to make work a positive experience, How to Be a Positive Leader is the book for you.

It offers invaluable advice and tips on how organizations can flourish and deliver high performance, no matter the situation.

With the help of this book, you can learn the secrets to successfully negotiating your salary, even from a boss that’s less than desirable.

You’ll also get insight into having a motivating job and why it’s important to keep a gratitude journal.

All together, these recommendations can help make work a positive experience for yourself and those around you.

Fostering High-Quality Connections: How Organizations Can Help Employees Thrive And Grow

Organizations rely on their staff to stay creative and energetic in order to gain a competitive edge.

It’s important for leaders to foster these types of high-quality, energizing interactions between employees if they want to keep up with the competition.

Barbara Fredrickson, one of the pioneers of positive psychology, has shown that these energetic exchanges are essential for people to thrive and grow both personally and professionally.

Research also proves that when people have lots of high-quality interactions their creativity and motivation increases significantly.

Leaders need to demonstrate that they respect and value their staff by paying close attention when they speak.

Turning off phones and moving away from computers are concrete ways to show employees that you are giving them your full attention.

And encouraging team-building activities such as orienteering or having recreational equipment around the office is one way for everyone to have more energizing interactions!

The Value Of Meaningful Work: How A Sense Of Purpose Enhances Employee Performance

When it comes to maximizing productivity, it is essential that employees feel motivated to do their best.

Studies have shown time and time again that employees are most inspired when they can see the impact of their work beyond just the office.

This means having a connection with the end users of your products or services – seeing how you positively affect customers and helping improve their lives in a meaningful way.

Take for example the call center at the University of Michigan.

When employees were given an opportunity to meet with a former student who was able to get his scholarship thanks to funds raised by the call center, motivation levels surged, leading to increased revenue from each employee.

At Medtronic, a medical technology company, they throw an annual party for six patients whose lives were improved by using their products.

At IBM, CEO made sure that executives visited customer sites so they could see the outcome of their efforts.

If direct connections are not available, leaders should encourage stories where employees had positive impacts with clients – such as those shared in weekly meetings at Merrill Lynch’s investment bank.

This shows that when employees can truly understand and appreciate the meaning of their work, they become more motivated.

The Benefits Of Mindful Negotiation: Keeping Emotions Out Of Professional Transactions

Professional Transactions

It’s essential to be mindful when you’re negotiating, whether it’s with your significant other, a friend or in the workplace.

Mindful negotiation means being fully present in the moment and not letting your thoughts wander into the past or future.

That way you can concentrate on getting what you want and not let any emotions get in the way.

For example, if you’re negotiating salary with someone you don’t like due to something that happened before, thinking about those negative feelings won’t help you get a better deal – all it’ll do is cloud your judgment and make it harder to focus on the task at hand.

Instead, try to view the situation neutrally, bringing no feelings towards them into play; You should instead focus on communicating why you deserve the salary that you’re asking for without any emotion involved.

This will increase your chances of getting what you need from a negotiation.

Always negotiate mindfully: don’t let your emotions cloud your judgment – this is key for having successful negotiations every time!

How To Develop A Positive Identity Through The Give Model

Leaders should strive to cultivate positive identities in their employees, as this helps them become both happier and more focused at work.

To do so, they can make use of the GIVE framework, which includes four elements – Growth, Integration, Virtuousness, and Esteem.

Growth allows employees to learn new skills and develop in ways that will help them become the people they want to be.

Integration sees an individual find a balance between their work life, family, hobbies and other commitments.

For Virtuousness, leaders should help their employees boost traits like integrity and humility while making sure they feel appreciated (Esteem).

One great way for achieving this is through the reflected best-self exercise.

Through this method, which requires gathering stories from friends/family regarding situations where one was at his/her best and then analyzing these tales for common themes connected to strengths and talents, a person can better leverage those qualities in their workplace.

For example, if one has a strength of empathy they might be asked to mediate between quarreling colleagues – something which will ensure they are continuing to use their good qualities.

Ultimately such situations contribute greatly towards developing a positive identity in each individual employee.

How To Create A Positive Work Environment And Thrive In Your Career

If you’re looking for ways to help yourself and your employees thrive, Danny Meyers, who owns 27 restaurants in New York City, has the perfect solution: create a positive work environment where inappropriate, disrespectful and rude behavior is completely eliminated.

The benefits of an environment like this are immense, both on an individual level and as a team.

Thriving employees tend to report higher levels of job satisfaction, creativity and courage because they feel more confident that they can achieve anything they put their minds to.

They also have lower instances of burnout because they enjoy their work – it’s energizing and engaging instead of depleting their energy reserves.

On an individual level, you can help yourself thrive by taking measures such as acquiring new knowledge and expertise or making sure you get enough restful sleep and exercise.

If you actively seek out feedback and opportunities to stay informed or engage in cardio or strength training activities during the day, you’ll soon find renewed energy and confidence flooding through your veins.

Additionally, be sure to get enough rest – at least seven to eight hours each night – if you want to ensure that you stay positive!

Encourage yourself and your employees to thrive – you’ll be rewarded with confidence and renewed energy.

Unlocking The Full Potential Of Employees: The Benefits Of Job Crafting

Job Crafting

When employers allow their employees to craft their own job around their passions, values and skills, they tend to get more out of the staff.

This is because people are happier and perform better when they can tailor their work to personalize their job.

Studies have found that those employees who are allowed to craft their own jobs are more likely to be proactive and also exhibit higher levels of performance.

For example, an executive may use her passion for helping others reach their potential by coaching other colleagues professionally or personally.

Or a marketing manager might add a social media campaign to a product launch if he finds it particularly interesting.

Job crafting can operate at different levels – openly, according to one’s strengths, values and interests; or personally according to the quality of interactions with people that the employee does or does not get along with.

Through caring communication such as emails, an employee can deliver high-quality performance without having to interact with someone he may not like.

Employees are assured of feeling valued when they have control over how they spend part of each day at work in line with their passions, values and goals.

Companies benefit too as these types of employees who craft their own roles result in greater satisfaction and better job performance.

Virtuousness Is An Essential Quality For A Successful Corporate Employee

Companies should encourage their staff to be virtuous, as it can have a positive impact on morale and productivity.

That’s because when employees do something virtuous that makes them feel good about themselves, such as helping someone else, it can help to increase their happiness and commitment which in turn leads to improved performance.

One way of fostering virtuousness is to promote gratitude in the workplace.

This can be done through activities such as having employees keep a gratitude journal, where they write down the things they are thankful for both at work and outside of work.

Research has shown that expressing gratitude has many benefits including physical health, better social relationships and improved cognitive performance.

Another virtue companies can help foster is transcendence – a sense of purpose or mission that reaches beyond oneself.

An example of this could be adopting goals or missions which benefit society – something Apple did in the 80s by aiming for each person on the planet to experience the joy and effectiveness of owning a computer.

By inspiring their staff to strive towards this goal, Apple was able to motivate its employees which led to their success.

The Importance Of Ethical Leadership: Why Treating Others Right Increases Job Satisfaction And Enhances Your Business’S Reputation

When it comes to leading a successful team, being an ethical leader is essential.

Studies show that when employees feel their leaders are ethical, they become more satisfied with their jobs and tend to perform better.

That’s because ethical leadership can help enhance a sense of work being meaningful and “good.

It also leads to less unethical behavior such as discrimination in the workplace.

And this further contributes to the positive work atmosphere.

So why do employees respond so well to an ethical leader? It may have something to do with the fundamental human norm of reciprocity–if you treat people well, they’re likely to reciprocate in kind.

Or it could be that employees take ethical leaders as role models; they want to emulate their good behavior.

Whatever the reason, businesses should strive to cultivate ethical leadership if they want higher performance from their employees.

This involves making ethical considerations part of business decisions and acting on them–even if it doesn’t always make financial sense or is technically still legal according to current regulations.

Moreover, it’s important for leaders to regularly assess which values they will prioritize, spend some time reflecting on if the consequences would look bad in black-and-white print, and strive for improvement whenever they can.

As consumers become savvier and more critical of methods employed by companies, effective and ethical leadership will only become increasingly valued going forward.

Hope Is The Foundation Of Human Excellence And A Source Of Strength In Difficult Times

Human Excellence

People are most likely to excel and reach their goals when they have hope that better times are ahead.

Without hope, it can be difficult to take action, stay motivated or achieve anything noteworthy.

That’s why it is so important for leaders to foster hope in others.

Nelson Mandela was a great example of this; despite suffering personal hardship, he fought for human rights improvements primarily by raising hopes for a better future for all.

Similarly, the founder of Interface Inc., Ray Anderson, declared he would totally eliminate any negative impact his company had on the environment and took action as if the goal was achievable.

Sure enough, just 15 years later, he was already halfway there!

But perhaps no one demonstrated how powerful fostering hope can be better than Odile Katese from Rwanda.

In an effort to bring energy and joy to her people despite post-genocide gloom she founded a drum group for women – an idea which achieved world-wide fame in no time at all!

With successful examples such as these to draw upon, it is clear that instilling hope and providing encouragement is essential for true human excellence.

Leaders Should Harness Employee Innovation Instead Of Resisting Change

When leaders are implementing a change in an organization, it’s important to remember that employees should be seen as resources, not resisters.

Too often, when changes occur, it can result in tension between leaders and their employees – a cycle which unfortunately is perpetuated by leaders seeing the employees as the source of change resistance.

Leaders need to recognize that changes present opportunities for growth, and they should foster a sense of ownership in their employees rather than taking unilateral action without first communicating with them.

By dialoguing with staff and asking questions like “what new relationships might be built?” or “what skills will be built during this change?”, leaders can encourage open dialogue about the potential hidden benefits of a change.

This will create an atmosphere where everyone can work together towards achieving the desired end result.

Taking the example of Ethan, manager at a women’s clothing store who made a simple yet bold move which resulted in increased sales for his store – this type of innovative thinking only comes when staff feel trusted and empowered by their leader.

This very same concept is applicable across organizations and industries too!

Therefore when implementing change, take seriously the importance of engaging your employees and viewing them as resources rather than resisters – this is something all positive leaders strive to do.

Wrap Up

In the book How To Be A Positive Leader, the key message is that companies can get far more out of their staff if leaders take into account the human elements of leadership.

This means understanding how emotions play a role in leading and motivating people.

Implementing this approach will not only make employees feel better, but it will also provide a competitive advantage due to increased productivity from a happier and more fulfilled team.

The actionable advice from this book is to give someone your full attention when talking with them.

So be sure to move away from your computer, put away your smartphone, and close any books you may have in front of you while speaking with someone.

Show appreciation through providing an attentive ear–it could make all the difference!

Overall, the final takeaway from How To Be A Positive Leader is that by acknowledging the power of emotions in business settings and taking steps to invest time and energy into relationships at work, leaders can open up unexpected opportunities for both their teams and organization as a whole.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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