Take a moment to reflect on last week. What were the high points? What were the low moments? How did you handle every day challenges? How did you interact with your team? What message did you convey?
We already know that individuals who display good leadership skills have more engaged employees with lower turnover. There’s also a commonly held belief that leadership is contagious. When you display strong, decisive, inspirational leadership, others around you will also begin to display those same behaviors. Research shows there is a trickle-down effect of leadership behaviors. When you are engaged, inspired, creative, passionate, motivated, and think positive, it is more likely that you will also see those behaviors in your team members. If you show up on time every day, your team members will likely show up on time. If you behave ethically, your team members will behave ethically. If you communicate effectively and honestly, your team will do so as well. In fact, if you are happy, the likelihood of those around you also being happy increases by 25%. That’s right! You can catch happiness!
But, if you can catch happiness, you can also catch other behavioral viruses like negativity, laziness, apathy, and impatience. We all have a bad day from time to time and let emotions and frustrations get the best of us. While challenging, it is important we consciously attend to which attitudes and behaviors we let others see.
We must bring our best selves to work every day not only to achieve our goals and guide our teams toward success, but also to model the behavior we expect to see in others. Our behaviors are powerful, and all eyes are on the leader to set the tone and culture for the organization.
Now, let’s return to my initial question. As you reflect on last week, what behaviors did your employees see from you? Did they see the best version of your leadership? Did they see someone who is engaged, driven, dedicated, compassionate, honest, and decisive? Or did they see someone who let circumstances get the best of them? Were you frustrated, cynical, or sarcastic?
What behaviors did you see in your team last week? There is likely a connection there.
Try a new tactic this week. Start every day by visualizing that you have a highly contagious virus. Every person you come in contact with can catch your virus. The virus has the potential to spread like wildfire and infect your entire team. However, it’s your choice what kind of virus you spread. You can choose to spread the virus of good, effective, inspirational leadership or you can share germs that create negativity, ambivalence, and mediocrity.
Be contagious in the best possible way. Share the attitudes and behaviors that elevate both yourself and everyone around you.