One character strength that contributes to happiness is Leadership. This is defined as:
Encouraging a group of which one is a member to get things done and at the time maintain time good relations within the group; organizing group activities and seeing that they happen.
I’ve been looking at a book Positive Leadership Strategies for Extraordinary Performance by Kim Cameron. A summary of the book is:
“Positive Leadership shows how to reach beyond ordinary success to achieve extraordinary effectiveness, spectacular results, and what Kim Cameron calls “positively deviant performance”–performance far above the norm. Citing a wide range of research in organizational development and psychology as well as real-world examples, Cameron shows that to go from successful to exceptional, leaders must learn how to create a profoundly positive environment in the workplace. They must build on strengths rather than simply focus on weaknesses; foster positive emotions like compassion, optimism, gratitude, and forgiveness; encourage mutually supportive relationships at all levels; and provide employees with a deep sense of meaning and purpose. In this concise, inspiring, and practical guide, Cameron describes four specific positive leadership strategies, lays out a proven process for implementing them, and includes a self-assessment instrument and a guide to assist leaders in the implementation process.”
Often in business leaders lead by controlling others. Sometimes this can involve bullying. A manager is not allways a good leader. People are often promoted to managerial positions without any training in how to lead. This can be disasterous. I should know, I have worked under several managers, or business owners who no little about leadership or motivating people.
Things I have encountered include:
- a boss who would not let any emails or letter go out unless they were approved by him
- a control freak manager who was so insistent on everything being 100% perfect that jobs took at least twice the time they needed to as he spent hours fine-tuning an already excellent piece of work
- a business owner so afraid to delegate that he spent many hours doing tasks that could easily have been delegated to others
- managers who encouraged open discussion about decisions that they have already made
- a executive considering updating a database who thought it wrong to consult the people actually using the database
None of these things are Positive Leadership. James Hill of Positive Leadership, a website offering Leadership training based on Positive Psychology states that:
“Positive Leadership focuses on relationships, not roles.
Every person has the potential to be a positive force in the workplace or community. Positive Leaders consistently match their values and beliefs to building something that improves their world. A high tide raises all boats.
People in organizations can work towards building a truly exceptional workplace , but often miss the opportunity. This oversight costs the organization, the employees and the community. Through assessment, self-reflection and executive coaching, you can learn to improve and create a workplace that attracts great employees, managers and clients.”