The Power of Positive Leadership

2016 Work as Worship Conference

Going to work Monday morning can often feel like diving into a sea of negativity. But as leaders, we have the power to promote a positive work environment. A simple switch to optimism can transform an organization's culture and productivity. In this 35-minute session, Jon Gordon outlines the characteristics of positive leaders and provides practical steps toward positivity in the workplace.

Jon Gordon is a speaker, author, and founder of The Jon Gordon Companies, a consulting company that is passionate about developing positive leaders, organizations and teams. He is the author of The No Complaining Rule, Training Camp, The Shark and The Goldfish, Soup, The Seed, The Positive Dog, and Wall Street Journal bestseller The Energy Bus

Jon began his talk reflecting on his family background. His upbringing taught him to resort to negativity. But when he got married, his wife challenged him to adopt a positive attitude. 

Do you lean toward positivity or negativity? Why do you think that is?
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Who is the most positive leader you know? What makes them so positive?
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Jon summarized positive leaders in three points. Positive leaders:
  • Create positive cultures.
  • Create and share a positive vision for the road ahead.
  • Lead with optimism and belief of course.

Jon said that positivity must come from you, the leader. It's not something you can delegate to another person. How have you seen the attitude of a leader affect the group—whether positively or negatively? Why do you think leaders have such a profound impact on those they lead?
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The culture of an organization needs to be felt before it's realized. What is the most positive work culture you've experienced? What made it feel positive?
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What kind of vision do you set for your team? Would you say it's positive or negative? Why?
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Jon said we need to focus on implementing vision each day while keeping the big picture in mind. In what ways could you remind your employees of the vision each day? How could you keep a positive view of the future in yourself and your team?
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Jon offered three steps leaders can take to promote positivity.
  1. Fill up yourself first.
  2. Weed out the negative.
  3. Create an environment where everyone can work positively and well. 

Jon said, "leadership is a transfer of belief." We need to be filled ourselves before we can expect others to adopt positivity. In what ways are you "filling yourself" with positivity? Where do you see room for growth?
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Sometimes positive leadership requires us to deal with "energy vampires," or those who zap positivity. How do you address and correct negative behavior in the workplace in love?
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Jon warned against complaining. How have you seen complaining destroy the culture or an organization?
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Jon closed with three essential ways leaders can create a positive work environment. 
  • Love
  • Serve
  • Care

Which of these three points is easiest for you to put into action? Where do you see room for personal growth?
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What practical steps could you take this week to increase positivity in yourself and in your team?
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Positivity begins with you. Come up with three ways you can love, serve, and care for your employees this week. Set a clear vision for the road ahead and continually remind your team of that vision. Create a positive work environment that promotes optimism. But just as Jon did, focus on cultivating positivity in yourself before asking others to be positive. Love, serve, and care for your team and pray they follow suit. 

For more information on the Work as Worship Conference or how to attend next year's event, visit