Bad is Stronger than Good

If the world naturally drifted upward like hot-air balloons, leaders and leadership would be irrelevant.

People wore rose colored glasses in the 60’s when they thought drugs and “free love” would create a New World. Apart from positive intervention chaos reigns. Call it pessimism if you like. Even hot-air balloons require burners to stay afloat.

Downward drift is leadership’s opportunity
for positive impact.

Doom and gloomers, nay sayers, and hand-wringers may firmly grasp the present but they seldom create desired outcomes.  20% of leadership is seeing the downward drift. 80% of leadership is firing the burners.

Research indicates there are “positive energizers” and “negative energizers” (Cameron).

Negative energizers:

  1. Deplete.
  2. Devalue.
  3. Diminish.
  4. Degrade.
  5. De-motivate.

Negative energizers live in, focus on, talk about, and wallow on the dark side. Pulling down is easy. Negative energizers are critical, talk in dark tones, don’t engage, and are more self-centered. I know because I’m a natural negative.

Problems, apart from intervention, control our thinking. Bad is stronger than good.

Positive energizers:

  1. Speak honestly.
  2. Embrace transparency.
  3. Support.
  4. Buildup.
  5. Focus on others.
  6. Find solutions.
  7. Enable performance.
  8. Give.
  9. Listen.
  10. Share.

Positive leadership:

Cameron suggests that positive leaders create:

  1. Positive climates.
  2. Positive relationships.
  3. Positive communication.
  4. Positive meaning.


When I tell people I’m naturally negative they usually say, “I don’t see that in you.” If you see positivity in me, take hope for yourself. I’m a reformed handwringer.

  1. Address problems with imperfect solutions.
  2. Adopt positive behaviors that you can define, describe, and employ.
  3. Pursue best opportunities more than fixing problems.
  4. Say many more positives than negatives, many more.
  5. Build positive teams by focusing on what can be done.

What does positive leadership look like to you?

How are you creating positive environments?