What is Really Meant by Positive Leadership?

While there are countless leadership styles and new ones are constantly appearing, as the attitudes of people who play this role are different, there is one leadership style that directly impacts the team, making them feel motivated; it’s about positive leadership.

Leadership qualities do not lead to instant success. You need patience, dedication, perseverance, and a lot of work on yourself to get to concrete results.

A “positive” leadership is a performance accelerator in business and is based on the intent to generate an overall positive effect in society.

The human factor is a competitive advantage that every company should cultivate. And a positive leadership allows empathy to emerge within work groups and improves their performance. If one works on involvement and if inspires positivity in your collaborators, you feed a spiral of benefits that are reflected inside and outside the company.

Those with leadership practice know that positive leadership is a type of leadership that has a positive impact on the work and lives of the people in a team.

I would like to try to translate in simple and explanatory terms “how” a leadership can concretely express its “positivity”.

The “positive leader”, basically, “must know” how to best express:

Trust (the extent to which other people in the organization are open and honest with each other) being accessible to people when needed for help, advice, information, or direction; listening openly to people’s ideas regardless of their position in the organization; providing information accurately and openly without “hidden agendas”; talking about groups or individuals only in ways one would be willing to talk in their presence; making sincere attempts to meet all commitments; acting as a champion for the work team, consistent with organizational goals.

Empowerment (the extent to which individuals and teams feel they have the authority and responsibility to act); establishing an environment that encourages people to work things out for themselves; finding ways to encourage positive performance and build confidence; behaving as though one expects others to do things right; ensuring that people have information, authority, and resources that they need to accomplish their work; encouraging others to show initiative and take reasonable risks; linking the impact of individual and team performance to the overall success of the organization.

Competitiveness (the extent to which people work together to ensure products and services meet customer expectations); finding opportunities to make continuous incremental improvements in products, systems, and control of costs; taking into account the impact of worldwide business developments, as they affect the organization and the work group; behaving as a partner with customers, rather than just a provider of products and services; taking personal responsibility for making wide use of resources; ensuring that immediate actions support long-term strategic accomplishments, in line with positive employee relations practices.

Personal Responsibility (the extent to which each supervisor and manager feels responsible for the products, services, and well-being of the organization); taking initiative to see that things get done; demonstrating a sense of urgency and showing energy to achieve results; making decisions and taking actions that involve reasonable risk; dealing constructively with problems and issues rather than making, or easily accepting, excuses; confronting issues as they arise in an open and honest manner; leading in a way which exemplifies the practice of trust, empowerment, competitiveness, and personal responsibility.

In short, a positive leader is passionate about group management, questions himself when necessary and does not blame others, and has a strong sense of humanity.

But he is also a leader who maintains a high sense of humor: making fun of himself, accepting mistakes, joking about pressure, and exorcising the fear of contagion, means creating teams in which people, although physically tired and in some cases seriously worried, they manage to give their best with a great sense of responsibility.

Is this the image you have of a positive leader?

Comments are really appreciated!


Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo is a lawyer and teacher of law & Economic Sciences, "lent" to the finance world. He has worked, in fact, 35 years long for a multinational company of financial service in the auto sector, where he held various roles, until that of CEO. In the corporate field, he has acquired skills and held positions as Credit Manager, Human Resource Manager, Team leader for projects of Acquisition & Merger, branch opening, company restructuring, outplacement, legal compliance, analysis and innovation of organizational processes, business partnerships, relations with Trade Unions and Financial Control Institutions. After leaving the company, he continued as an external member of the Board of Directors e, at the same time, he has gone back practicing law and was a management consultant for various companies. He has been also a columnist for newspapers specializing in labor law, automotive services and work organization. His interests include human behavior in the organizational environment, to the neuroscience, the impact of new technologies, the fate of the planet and people facing poverty or war scenarios. He loves traveling, reading, is passionate about many sports, follows the NBA and practices tennis.

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  1. I agree with your description of positive leaders and the traits your identified that positive leaders share.

    “Leadership qualities do not lead to instant success. You need patience, dedication, perseverance, and a lot of work on yourself to get to concrete results.
    A “positive” leadership is a performance accelerator in business and is based on the intent to generate an overall positive effect in society.”

    I like your use of accelerator. Yes, they are catalysts. A catalyst accelerates without changing its identity in chemistry. This is also true for positive leaders. They do not impose their noses in every issue but observe and accelerate positive change.