I have had the opportunity to speak with hundreds of coaches around the country about the importance of positive leadership and the benefits of building a positive culture that fuels performance. Yet, one of the most common questions I receive is, "coach, what do I do when my boss isn't a positive leader/manager?" Its a question I know well. I remember when I worked in an alternative classroom during the start of the educational budget crisis. I had a very negative boss and one day was forced to make some decisions that changed everything. Coach Mac's Basketball website and the Coach's Club weren't even thoughts in my mind yet. But, looking back I was already putting things into action.
Here are a few suggestions I hope will help you, your team and your boss build a positive approach to fuel a positive performance.
Make Your Bus Great. You may not be the leader of your organization. You may not be driving the "big bus", but you can decide to make YOUR bus great. Every day focus on being the best you can possibly be and bringing out the best in others. Tune out negativity. Tune out the negative comments. Tune out anything you can't control. Remember you can't drive anyone else's bus. Focus on driving your bus and making it a great ride.
Your Positive Energy Must be Greater then ALL the Negativity. In the book, Power vs Force, by author David Hawkins, MD shares research that 80% of the population vibrates to a negative frequency. The fact is, negativity is all around us. Its not just your boss. Its everywhere. You must remember that your positive energy must be greater then all the negativity you are surrounded by. As country wisdom suggests, "Never wrestle with a pig because you'll both get dirty and the pig likes it." Instead, stay above the fray. Positive energy is far more powerful then negative energy.
Be the Seed. When you plant yourself where you are, with a desire to serve and make a difference, you will create very positive conditions for your growth. You'll be amazed by how your boss and others will begin to treat you. They will sense something different in you and they will change the way they behave towards you.
Invite Your Boss on the Bus. Don't think you can't change your team or organization. You can. I'm convinced that very few people want to be negative. Most people are negative because of stress, busyness, and fear. Most people just need a wake-up call to break out of their rut. Decide to be a beacon of light that shines on others. You'll be amazed at what happens.
If Your Boss Doesn't Change, You Can. If all else fails....you have a choice. You can decide to stay positive, be the seed and outlast your boss knowing that truth shines through and eventually a negative boss won't last--ultimately their team will fall apart, results will suffer and they will be asked off the bus. Or you can decide to change your job. A lot of people do this and that is why the best teams that focus on positive leadership attract the best players, staff, and adminstrators.
Whatever you do, however, don't allow a negative boss or colleague to get you down. With 80% of the population being negative, we need positive powerful people like you to offset the negativity. So keep staying positive.