The Heliotropic Effect of Positive Leadership

Have you ever walked into a room, engaged in a conversation, and felt immediately a wave of positive energy running through your body that made you feel instantly uplifted and enthused?

Well, you have just met a Positive Relational Leader.

According to research, the greatest predictor of leadership success is “positive relational energy“, namely the energy exchanged by leaders who energise people around them.

Positive relational leaders are natural ENERGISERS: They’re like the sun. They walk into a room and make it glow. People around them feel immediately inspired & connected.

Positive energy is the most underutilized yet powerful indicator of leadership and organisational success.

Why? Because it is “wired” in human biology, in how people feel at a mental, physical, and emotional level when a positive leader is around.

Positive energy is contagious.

When individuals converse with positive relational leaders, they are exposed to their “relational energy“, which is to say that people experience an intrinsic feeling of trust, connection, and motivation, deriving from a surge in the release of positive hormones or chemical neuro-transmitters oxytocin (the “bond” hormone) and dopamine (the “reward” and “motivation” hormone).

Leaders who are inherently positive energisers, embody authenticity, live their values, and cultivate positive emotions and thinking, inwardly and outwardly.

They possess superior emotional intelligence and empathy.

They create a like-for-like working environment that is conducive to growth, and people’s empowerment and development.

Positive relational energy connects deeply with reciprocity, or the act of genuinely giving to others, catalysing for greater shared-value creation and elevating collective effort across the whole organisation.

In botanical terms this phenomenon is known as the “heliotropic effect“: Like plants turn to sunlight to grow and find nourishment, people are drawn to positive people and leaders.

Research findings into positive relational leadership show significant improvement in the performance of the organisation; positive energisers sustain innovation, teamwork, and engagement, and positive leaders are central to well-being and job satisfaction.

When you interact with leaders in your organisation, what happens to your energy?


Monica Dettori
Monica Dettori
I am a forward-thinking, creative, and people-centric HR & OD Transformation Specialist, Human Potential & Wellness Coach. Ecosystems that have at heart the well-being and development of their people create sustainable cultures that ignite collective action and propel the organisation towards greater levels of performance. I enable the enterprise to foster a work environment in which people meaningfully and purposefully connect to the company's journey, taking an active part in the delivery of its vision and strategic goals. With over a decade of experience in the people profession, I have developed in-depth expertise and know-how in designing, implementing, leading on, and measuring the impact of people-centric interventions that have improved the employee's experience and strengthened the internal Employee Value Proposition (EVP). I bring a holistic, “whole person”, approach to sustain organisational development at scale, proactively responding to the challenges individuals, teams and leaders face today due to disruptive change, market’s unpredictability, and increasingly high uncertainty. Leveraging behavioural science, best-practice, coaching, and agile methodologies, I enable the organisation to move towards greater levels of performance, building the bridge between strategic and people’s needs, to promote a culture of empowerment, collaboration & continuous improvement that produces experiences people connect with and that ultimately lead to long term growth and a quantifiable return on investment (ROI). I am passionate about regenerative methodologies that create ripples of positive change at individual, organisational and societal level. A Nature’s devotee and outdoor enthusiast, I invest time in immersive experiences with the natural environment in alignment with my philosophy of Living Mindfully every day.

SOLD OUT! JOIN OUR WAITING LIST! It's not a virtual event. It's not a conference. It's not a seminar, a meeting, or a symposium. It's not about attracting a big crowd. It's not about making a profit, but rather about making a real difference. LEARN MORE HERE



  1. I love your article, Monica

    “In botanical terms this phenomenon is known as the “heliotropic effect“: Like plants turn to sunlight to grow and find nourishment, people are drawn to positive people and leaders”.

    I wonder why you did not title the post Heliotropic Leaders. Leaders are the sun who the plants-like (team members) are drawn to. Not only the sun gives warmth and energy, but also helps the team members turn their infomation into creative ideas and synthensize new possibilities. .