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 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 Dettorihttps://monicadettori.wixsite.com/monicadettori%20
A forward-thinking, value-added, and purpose-driven Organisational Development & Transformation Specialist who sustains human-centric practices that fuel performance, ignite positive lasting change, build trust and sustain engagement whilst elevating motivation and connectedness. Spanning over 14 years’ career in the HR field with a global footprint, Monica is a Chartered Member of the CIPD, and a Certified Human Potential Coach and Mindfulness practitioner. She fosters a culture of trust & well-being that is conducive to building company resilience & that places the people’s experience at the heart of organisation's growth & long-term sustainability. A collaborative and conscious-growth Leader, Monica’s mission is for people to engage with their work and the company's journey, leveraging Agile methodologies, best-practices and science-led approaches to coaching, leadership development, learning, and change that tap into human biology whilst designing & harmonising internal practices for higher shared-value creation. Monica’s purpose is to make a measurable contribution to the people she works with, elevating leadership impact & enhancing the people’s journey to heighten the internal Employee Value Proposition (EVP) in alignment with organisational goals and vision.


  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. .