Last week, my colleagues and I had the opportunity to work with The Soderquist Center during a week-long series of meetings focused on leadership. There were a lot of takeaways from each session ranging from how each person’s personality is different, requiring us to work with each other differently to team building exercises focusing on trust.
One of the most memorable quotes from the meetings was that of an executive who said, “I strive to keep all my relationships in the positive to neutral zone, never letting any of them cross the line into the negative space.”
This resonated with me. Too often we find ourselves spending time thinking about what we’re doing or how we’re doing it would be disapproved by someone in our negative space. This affects productivity, among other things. Why? Rather than focusing on the positive outcomes, we’re too worried about damage control. We’re thinking of how that person will shoot down our ideas. Now, don’t get me wrong, Jim Collins has taught us to exercise productive paranoia in his book Great by Choice, but there’s a fine line between that and toxicity. By keeping your relationships positive or neutral, I think you’ll find that there is more time to focus on innovation and creativity, continuing to improve those relationships, thus increasing their value. So before you open you mouth with a snappy response, fire off the email with ALL CAPS, or take a jab at someone else’s expense, think about how you can move their relationship with you to the neutral or positive zone.
Keeping all relationships in the positive or neutral zone is one of my personal goals going forward.
There are a lot of bad things happening all around us throughout the world. I don’t have to provide examples. All you have to do is read the headlines. I’d like to encourage you to think about all the positive things we’re accomplishing in the world, possible things that were once thought impossible.
I mentioned earlier that keeping all relationships in the positive or neutral zone is one of my goals. It’s not a 2013 goal. It’s a forever goal. Want to change the world with me? Let’s do it together!
For a little inspiration, check this out:
26 Moments That Restored Our Faith in Humanity This Year. I challenge you to read it without tearing up. I failed that challenge…
I’d also encourage you to check out Enactus. Enactus, which was formerly known as SIFE, is an organization that is enabling progress through entrepreneurial action. We’re a community of student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better more sustainable world. In 2012, Enactus students in 39 countries put in more than 7.2 million volunteer hours to empower people in need by applying business and economic concepts and an entrepreneurial approach to improve their quality of life and standard of living. I’m proud to be part of this organization as their VP of Career Services, helping these fantastic young leaders prepare for their careers after college and assisting our valued partners with a tailored recruitment strategy to help them achieve maximum ROI. Check out www.enactus.org for more information. Here is a quick link to some of the projects they’re doing to truly change the world.
Don’t wait until tomorrow. Let’s change the world now.
As always, thanks for reading.