Positive Leadership (A complete guide)

We all strive to work under a positive leader, who would encourage us to do good and bring about the best of us.

The leader who would help us identify our strengths and increase our motivation to do work.

The leader who does all this is known as the positive leader. Positive leadership is the way how a positive leader leads his followers.

This blog explains positive leadership in detail.

What is Positive Leadership?

Positive psychology is a vast field of psychology and positive leadership is one part of it.

Positive leadership refers to leadership techniques, styles, and behavior that can be grouped as deviant—positively deviant. 

To be positively deviant means to possess leadership style, technique, or behavior that is unique from styles, techniques, or behaviors that normal leaders engage in.

Let’s clarify the concept of positive and negative leadership with an example of a bell curve of leadership behaviors.

The left side of the bell curve contains negative behavior why is the right side of the bell curve contains positive behavior.

The majority of leadership behaviors neither fall in positive nor in a negative behavior curve.

Such behaviors occupy the place in between these two, the thickest part of the bell curve.

A lot of time is utilized by people in talking about is that the things that are a part of bad leadership, that must not be done, and the efforts that must be made to shift their behavior from the left side of the bell curve to the right side of the bell curve.

The aim of positive leadership is to transfer the behavior from any five of the bell curve to the extreme right of the bell curve of behaviors.

Positive Leadership Styles

According to Daniel Goleman (emotional intelligence expert) and his co-workers Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee, there are four positive leadership stypes.

These four leadership styles include the following:

1. Visionary or Authoritative Leaders

Visionary leaders possess an ambitious vision and encourage their followers to work on achieving their goals. 

2. Coaching Leaders

Such leaders are well aware of how to promote the development and get the best out of their followers.

This is what they do.

3. Affiliative Leaders

Affiliative leaders are well-versed in applying and promoting positive affect in the place where they work.

Such leaders have the potential to bring peace and unity to the team by promoting problem resolution skills in their followers.

4. Consensus or Democratic Leaders

Such leaders collaborate with their team members and work together to analyze different perspectives and following the best decisions (Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee, 2002).

Common Components of Positive Leadership

According to Avolio B.J. and Gardner W.L., there are five common components of positive leadership that are a part of almost all leadership styles.  These are:

  • Self-knowledge of the leader
  • Positive modeling of the behavior of the followers
  • Personal and social identification of followers with the leader and other group members
  • A healthy social exchange between the followers and the leader

What Positive Leaders Accomplish

Positive leaders purposely promote the flow of positive emotions forms one person to the other in their workplace.

Instead of doing this for the purpose of increasing morale, they do this to enhance the engagement and performance fo the workers in the organization.

Empirical evidence as shown that positive leaders who promote the flow of positive emotions have workgroups with increased job satisfaction, more positive mood, enhancement in work performance, and greater work engagement. 

What makes positive leaders unique and unusual from the other leaders lies in the fact that they know what to get out of their followers and how to do this to bring about the best in their workers.

Positive leaders strive to analyze the true potentials of each of their employees and their interactions with other employees to enhance the flow of positive emotions. 

5 Small Actions That Have A Big Impact

Small actions can bring about big changes.

The following are the five small actions that can leave big and lasting effects. 

1. Be Mindful of Mood

Empirical evidence has shown that positive emotions such as joy, gratitude, interest etcetera, aids in widening minds, and enables individuals to think skeptically, creatively, and collaboratively.

It allows individuals to work together to build the resources so difficult times at work can be passed with resilience.

The mood strategy for achieving the above status is to show a  humorous video or any story related to the topic of discussion.

This helps in the flow of positive emotions, brings people in the present time, and enables them to concentrate on the tasks more carefully. 

2. Build Strengths

Corporate Leadership Council has unveiled that the work performance of the employee decreases by about 36% on average when the leader talks about the employee’s weaknesses more than his abilities.

On the other hand, if the leader focuses.

Thus, the leaders must invest their time in identifying the strengths of their employees and appreciating them for their abilities and capabilities to bring about the best in them as well as to enhance their work performance. 

3. Cultivate Positive Relationships 

Empirical research has shown that an individual’s relationships with other people ensure a lower level of stress and enhances concentration as well as attention at work, due to the release of oxytocin hormone which produces the feelings of pleasure and helps reduce anxiety.

Therefore, it is very essential to cultivate positive and healthy relationships with the employees.

Acts of kindness either small of big, gratitude, interest, active listening, and reflection are some of the very simple and effective ways of cultivating positive relationships with and within the employees.

4. Find Purpose

People of America gave the highest ranks to purpose as their topmost priority in the job.

There were many other priorities such as promotions, pay, job security, working hours etcetera, did they chose purpose as their topmost priority in the job. 

The analysis of the data collected from about 11,000 employs belonging to different organizations revealed that the belief that a job leaves a positive impact on other people has meaningfulness as its strongest predictor. 

Therefore the leader must help his employees acknowledge the purpose of their work and encourage employees to help other employees find the meaning in their jobs.

5. Ignite Hope

Hope is a very positive emotion. Igniting hope does wonders.

About 99% of the people believe that the future will be brighter than the present but only 50% believe that they can make it happen.

According to researchers, this gap is due to the difference between hoping and wishing and can bring about a 14% improvement in work productivity. 

The leaders must work on increasing the hopes of their employees.

They can do so by including at least one task that can be accomplished easily and makes employees excited about doing it.

It would help in bringing about the best in the employees, driving them towards goals achievement and ignite hope in them that will accomplish this task easily. 

The following are some good books regarding positive leadership.

You can read these books to increase your knowledge about positive leadership and ways in which you can become a positive, successful leader.

All the books mentioned below are easily accessible on the Amazon store.

Just select the book you wish to read, click it, and you will be redirected to the page from where you can access it.

Why is positive leadership important?

Positive leadership is important very because positive leaders are a ver of the fact that the potential of human beings is unlocked by their positive energy and thus increases engagement at work.

Positive leaders encourage their followers to work on their abilities and parts of positive energy.

Positive leaders do not just fill in the gaps between the competency model but they also provide aid to their followers to work on their strengths and benefit from them.

What are some positive leadership traits?

Leadership is all about encouraging the followers to do the things that are they thought they would not be able to do.

Some positive leadership traits include empathy, resilience, humility, accountability, integrity, influence, positivity, and vision. 

What is a good leadership quote?

Some good leadership quotes are as follows:

  • “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” 
  • “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” 
  • “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

How is positive leadership different from negative leadership?

Positive leadership and negative leadership are two different concepts.

A positive leader will have his followers to do the things that they want to do.

While on the other hand, a negative leader will have his followers to do their job because they are afraid not to.

A positive leader always encourages his followers to do their best each time.

What are the 5 characteristics of a good leader?

The five essential qualities of a great leader include clarity of speech and ideas, decisiveness, courage, passion, and humility.

What are the 7 leadership styles?

The 7 types of leadership include autocratic leadership, charismatic leadership, transformational leadership, laissez-faire leadership, transactional leadership, supportive leadership, and democratic leadership.

This blog provided you details about positive leadership to help you clarify this concept.

The blog mentioned various types of positive leadership and the ways in which an individual can become a successful, positive leader. 

We hope you liked the blog. Your comments and suggestions regarding this blog are highly appreciated.

You can also convey your queries or questions regarding this blog through your comments in the comments section. We will be glad to assist you.


Positive Leadership: 30 Must-Have Traits and Skills by Courtney E. Ackerman (2019)

How Positive Leadership Shapes Positive Organizational …

The Impact of Positive Leadership – Gallup Poll

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