According to Kim Cameron’s book Practising Positive Leadership, positive leadership is the implementation of positive practices that help organisations and individuals achieve their highest potential, flourish at work, experience elevating energy, and achieve levels of effectiveness.

It’s all about modelling, creating, and cultivating a positive work environment that would enforce effective and frictionless employees. Positive leadership also motivates your team members to excel in their work, as it raises their spirits and focuses on communication, accountability, and emotional intelligence.

This article delves into positive leadership as a successful practice and explains its importance for the workplace. We’ll also give you a checklist of what makes a positive leader.

Why is Positive Leadership Important?

Positive leadership is the backbone of any prosperous company, giving rise to inspired and motivated team members. Below are some benefits of being a positive leader:

Building an Emotionally Safe Work Environment

Toxic leadership is detrimental to any business. It creates chaos, hostility, and hierarchical positions. For this reason, leaders should cultivate a sense of positive leadership in the way they run their businesses. This will result in an emotionally safe work environment.

An emotionally secure team is invested, passionate, and enthusiastic about their work. They’ll go the extra mile to deliver quality work and achieve their goals as long as they feel appreciated and heard. Happy employees, happy life.

Push Through Times of Crisis and Instability

Positive leadership is what you need to go through crisis and volatility. It prepares you for handling unexpected situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic, from which many businesses are still recovering.

Positive leaders get their team through instabilities and uncertainties by being role models. They highlight their employees’ strengths, advocate resilience, and remind them that they’ll get through these hard times.

Encouraging Flexibility

Good leaders positively handle uncertain periods, which foster flexibility and openness. Flexibility and adapting to the different circumstances that may arise are important skills for every leader and team to thrive. They should adjust to every change they’ll encounter along the way to keep a seamless flow of action.

How Do You Become a Positive Leader?

Being a positive leader is not innate, you learn it along the way. It is a set of characteristics you have to develop and constantly improve. Here is a checklist of common positive leaders’ traits, but bear in mind that it is not exclusive. Every leader should adapt his behaviour to their team’s needs and the circumstances facing them.

Prioritising Emotional Safety

Feeling emotionally and psychologically safe in the workplace is imperative for employees to excel in their work. It creates an environment where they are not scared to be humiliated, embarrassed, or rejected when they speak up, share ideas, and make mistakes.

As a positive leader, encourage your team members to address their concerns and ask their questions without fear or intimidation. Raise their spirits when they fail and remind them that it’s part of the process. Give constructed criticism without attacking them personally. These practices result in:

  • Trust between team members
  • Improved and positive engagement
  • Confidence
  • Creativity

Creating an Environment of Constant Learning 

Positive leadership means enabling your employees to learn and grow professionally. As a leader, stimulate employee creativity and encourage them to experiment and innovate.

A learning environment also emanates from a safe workplace. Employees are more willing to learn if they feel they won’t be ridiculed or fired if they make mistakes or deliver imperfect, flawed results at the beginning of the learning process.

Clear Communication

Leaders should master their communication skills to establish a flourishing work environment. They should communicate their needs and expectations for each task, without intimidating their employees or enforcing unbalanced power relations.

Positive leaders focus on progress and growth. They openly express appreciation and provide support to boost morale. They cultivate a sense of seamless positivity by celebrating small and big wins.

Like their team members, leaders should be open to employee feedback. This process creates an opportunity for success and progress – provided it’s free of judgment and ambiguity.

Having a Clear Vision and Goals

Positive leadership embraces having a clear set of goals and vision for your work. It also focuses on the strategies, roles, and resources needed to thrive. This vision attaches meaning and gives purpose to your endeavours, as it keeps your team members motivated and positively engaged.

Everybody loves to see their work making an impact and being part of something bigger, in this case, your company. Make sure to create these connections between different tasks and different departments, as it also births a sense of unity between all employees.


Positive leadership is the key to building a thriving and inclusive business. It’s essential for maintaining positive relations between you and your employees to build a “ride or die” team. That way, everyone feels empowered. As a result, they do their best to create a successful business.

About the author

EWOR is a school conceived by Europe’s top professors, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders. We educate and mentor young innovators to launch successful businesses.

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