How to Be a Positive Leader Book Summary - How to Be a Positive Leader Book explained in key points
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How to Be a Positive Leader summary

Jane E. Dutton & Gretchen M. Spreitzer

Small Actions, Big Impact

4.1 (122 ratings)
22 mins

Brief summary

'How to Be a Positive Leader' by Jane E. Dutton and Gretchen M. Spreitzer is a guidebook for leaders who aim to create a positive work environment. It provides practical tools and examples for fostering a culture of flourishing and resilience.

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    How to Be a Positive Leader
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    Leaders need to encourage energizing interactions among their staff for a more creative organization.

    By nature, we humans are social animals: we blossom when we have lots of positive interactions with our friends, family members, colleagues, and so forth. And when we are confident, we’re at our most creative and energetic.

    Specifically, we thrive when we have lots of high-quality connections: interactions where both participants’ energy levels are increased. An example of a high-quality connection would be if you’re feeling tired in the morning and have a chat with a colleague about something that energizes you and makes you feel alive – like the football game last night.

    Barbara Fredrickson, one of the pioneers of the positive psychology movement, considers high-quality connections a prerequisite for people to grow and thrive both personally and professionally.

    For organizations, a creative and energetic staff translates into a real competitive advantage, so companies need to do all they can to foster these interactions.

    Research shows that employees with many high-quality connections are more creative and motivated to learn new things, both of which are important for companies trying to come up with innovative schemes.

    So how can company leaders encourage high-quality connections between their staff?

    There are two main strategies to follow.

    First, when interacting with employees, leaders need to demonstrate that they respect and value them. In practice, this means paying close attention to what they say and being positive when they voice their opinions.

    One concrete gesture is to turn off your phone and move away from your computer to show that you’re giving the employee your full and complete attention.

    Second, leaders can facilitate teamwork and positive interactions by encouraging employees to play more games. This could mean organizing a team-building activity like orienteering, or having equipment like ping-pong tables, chessboards and basketball hoops at your workplace.

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    What is How to Be a Positive Leader about?

    How to Be a Positive Leader examines cutting-edge research from the field of positive organizational behavior, in which companies aim to foster both a positive attitude to work and high performance among employees. The research is complemented with vivid examples from real organizations.

    How to Be a Positive Leader Review

    How to Be a Positive Leader (2014) is a book that explores the qualities and practices of effective positivity in leadership. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • The book offers practical strategies and tips for leaders to create a positive work environment, ultimately improving team performance and well-being.
    • Through in-depth research and case studies, it provides evidence of how positive leadership can enhance employee engagement and organizational success.
    • With its insightful perspectives on fostering positive relationships, the book encourages leaders to cultivate a culture of trust, collaboration, and growth.

    Best quote from How to Be a Positive Leader

    All species play, and humans at work are no exception!

    —Jane E. Dutton & Gretchen M. Spreitzer
    example alt text

    Who should read How to Be a Positive Leader?

    • Anyone interested in the concept of happiness at work
    • Leaders who want to build thriving, successful organizations
    • Employees who want to be happier and more productive

    About the Author

    How to Be a Positive Leader was edited by organizational scientists Jane E. Dutton and Gretchen M. Spreitzer. Contributing essayists include distinguished researchers Adam Grant, the author of Give and Take, and Amy Wrzesniewski of the Yale School of Management.

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    How to Be a Positive Leader FAQs 

    What is the main message of How to Be a Positive Leader?

    The main message of How to Be a Positive Leader is about the power of positivity in leadership and how it can create a flourishing work environment.

    How long does it take to read How to Be a Positive Leader?

    The reading time for How to Be a Positive Leader varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is How to Be a Positive Leader a good book? Is it worth reading?

    How to Be a Positive Leader is a valuable read for anyone in a leadership position. It offers practical insights and strategies to cultivate a positive leadership style and enhance employee well-being.

    Who is the author of How to Be a Positive Leader?

    The authors of How to Be a Positive Leader are Jane E. Dutton & Gretchen M. Spreitzer.

    What to read after How to Be a Positive Leader?

    If you're wondering what to read next after How to Be a Positive Leader, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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