Positive energy is always attractive. One of the greatest qualities of leaders who have been given permission to lead is a positive attitude which inspires positive action in others. But before being able to inspire action in others, a great leader must have an inherent, internal positive source from which to draw her own inspiration. So, how do great positive leaders cultivate and nurture their own positive source of inspiration and innovation?
There are three basic components of each personality, and each individual's being. Actions, or behavior, security or well-being, and intellect or self-awareness. When these three components of an individual's personality and life are in a state of health and perspective, positive thinking, positive innovation and creativity, and the ability to inspire others will come naturally. Let's have a closer look at what this means.
First, because our actions, which are visible and have impact on those around us, are a result of what is going on internally, a great leader must begin with self-awareness. Understanding what motivates you, what inspires you, what frustrates you, and your own drive, is the beginning of understanding potential weak or vulnerable areas in your own life and personality. Perspective with regard to your own weaknesses and strengths equips you to be prepared for the unexpected, allowing for clear thinking during stressful events, and helping you maintain your resource of positive and healthy self-awareness.
The very basic need that we all have, regardless of our resources, life-experience, seasoning, or support systems, is a sense of well-being. It is instinctive in our nature to comfort a child and reassure them that there are safe places in the world, but even as adults and leaders, we still need to remember this and find our own safe places in order to maintain our sense of well-being. Volatility and a tendency to be reactive (rather than responsive) stem from a lack of feeling secure and a lack of feeling some degree of control. In order to maintain our own sense of well being, it is important for leaders to have some degree of order, routine, and control built into their daily lives. The more we understand that there are some safe places, there are some patterns of predictability, and there are some areas of our lives over which we have control, the more likely it is that when the unexpected happens and we have little to no control, we will still have enough stability from within to navigate these moments and continue to feel our own sense of well-being despite our circumstances.
Finally, leaders must take action that results in cultivating positive inspiration for those around them, but also for themselves. It's true that sometimes if we want to feel "happy" or "inspired," we must first begin to "act" that way. One of my favorite movies is of course Field of Dreams. The most memorable quote from this is, "If you build it, they will come," and this is true in life as well. If you begin to take positive actions, say and do inspirational and encouraging words to those around you, positive nurturing will be felt by not only those around you, but by you, as a leader yourself!
Leadership is difficult and draining, but remembering that, as a leader, you are also an individual with your own needs can help remind you to nurture your self, your sense of well being, and your external actions. Bolstering your own source of inspiration and positive and creative thinking, can help you maintain that positive leadership energy for the long term!