Learning Positive Energy - Jack Welch’s 3 Essential Inborn Leadership Traits Part 1
I respect Jack Welch enormously. He is a CEO I hope to emulate and learn from but I have to respectfully disagree that 3 of his 5 essential leadership traits are inborn (existing from birth).
Jack Welch defines “Positive Energy” (the first essential leadership trait) as “the capacity to go-go-go with healthy vigor and an upbeat attitude through good times and bad”. At first blush, it does sound like something innate but when you think about people with positive energy you start noticing common traits which can be learned.
Positive Energy Can Be Learned
When I say that positive energy can be learned, I am focused on the word “learned”. This implies that a person has control over their life and if they want it bad enough—they will do whatever it takes to change. So if you want to obtain positive energy the first step is taking a hard look into yourself.
People who radiate positive energy are comfortable with themselves. They are not in love with themselves as Narcissus was but know themselves and have had time to get familiar with their weaknesses and imperfections. Accept your weaknesses for the time being but know that most of them are fixable in the long run.
Positive people “put themselves out there” but in a way that says, “yes I am deficient in some way but it is only temporary because I am a work in progress”. They are not afraid to publicly admit their current weakness by saying things like, “I want to improve my spelling” or “I want to learn more about Category Theory”. They don’t say things like, “My spelling sucks” or “Category Theory is too complicated”. Hearing their desire to be better makes you realize two things: 1.) there are other people in the world who are deficient like me and 2.) I can be better as well.
Another way of obtaining positive energy is by being extremely healthy. When you are not healthy everything in life is a struggle and negativity seems to be a shadow waiting to pounce on every event in your life. Getting healthy and in shape is a way eradicate these shadows and radiate natural energy. I love talking to people who are doing creative things to get their workouts in daily. I use the time on the sit down bike to get my security research reading done then read while doing planks in between reps. You feel different after exercising daily for 6 months. Try 30 minutes cardio and 30 minutes of free weights to build muscle. Stress washes itself away and you can actually work harder, more efficiently, and longer without fatigue.
Diet is also important. People are drinking way too many sugary drinks and juices, as well as, eating processed junk food. Try eating organic for 3 months. Cut out all of the candy, sweets, processed meats, and junk food. Eat more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Again you will have increased energy, stamina, and your mind will be sharper. All of this will improve your positive sense of well-being. A positive sense of well-being naturally exudes to others.
Having enough sleep, keeps you from getting cranky and will also help you will think clearly. When you think clearly, the problems that you face in your work and life are easier to solve. Also, not being cranky helps you laugh more.
Laughing and being funny (not at someone else’s expense) is something that naturally releases positivity. There is a certain positive energy which can be felt when you are within a group talking about how double and triple buffering is related to life’s different situations. Yeah, you probably had to be there to get it but intelligent technical millennial minds are special. The important thing is to see humor in every one of life’s situations.
Being thankful acknowledges the importance and kindness in another’s actions. It shows appreciation to the person who gave you something to be thankful for. Being grateful is also a way of acknowledging and appreciating the good things in our lives.
Be open to change, welcome it and enjoy it. Strive to be “uncomfortable” in the direction of your career path. Try different things and go to different places in the world. And if you have to continually change, try to keep things moving in a positive direction.
Be steadfast in making daily improvements to your life. Start small but commit to taking bigger daily positive strides. In a year, you will not not realize how your life improved so much.
Accept the things you cannot change but believe that almost anything is possible.
Believe in yourself. Believe that through hard work, perseverance, and creativity anything is possible.
Accept that life is difficult, unfair, and sometimes mean but you got to push through. When you accept this fact, life mysteriously becomes easier.
Recognize the greatness in others. Everyone is a miracle and has special talents. They had to win the race to the egg against millions of other competitors. Their genes had to survive all kinds of predators, diseases, and environmental conditions for the past 200,000 years. Seeing the greatness in your team members will help you to have confidence in your team’s ability to get things done.
All of items above are things that you can obtain and learn.