Guest post by Pete Grosse.
As an entrepreneur focused on workplace culture, engagement and providing the optimum environments for people to do the best work they can, I strive to promote positive power every day. Why? Because I know first-hand how it feels to be disengaged from work and to feel the specter of negativity (my own and that of others) constantly hanging over me.
I knew I had to make a change when turbulence in my personal life (the unexpected loss of my father) collided with a work environment that drained me of my confidence. The result? I was a shadow of my former self, uncertain and lost.
I had experienced tough times before but nothing like this. I knew I could not go on like this and I was pretty sure that millions of others at that exact moment (to varying degrees and with different personal circumstances) were also lost, dreading work and feeling their contributions were worthless.
So, I left the corporate world. I left behind my comfortable salary and big commissions. Despite having a wedding to pay for and an intention to buy a house I couldn’t play by those rules anymore. Deep down I knew that sooner or later, something would give. I couldn’t let that be my health or sanity.
Do not dread Monday morning
Fast forward a couple of years and I have a lofty goal and one that has no end date. One that I hope many others will join and support in whatever way they can.
That goal is to help improve the workplace wellbeing of as many people as possible and in whatever form best suits them. This isn’t necessarily to just help businesses grow and perform better, although that is a nice carrot that encourages them to give this some focus. In fact, this is about helping people go home with a stronger sense of worth. With a smile on their faces when they walk in the door. To not dread Monday morning or have an awful night’s sleep on Sunday because they are panicking about the week ahead. The list goes on and you can fill in the most appropriate ones to you.
I choose Positivity
Despite life rarely being perfect, I choose positive and I choose to smile as much as I can. Not because I’m deluded or because I’m always in a good mood (my wife can attest to that not being the case) but because I’ve found it truly has helped me when times are tough.
It helps me see the wood from the trees and offers some light when the days are dark. It’s a mindset that allows me to see prospects and excitement ahead instead of roadblocks and obstacles. And the best thing, it works! I have never had more positive, engaging and interesting interactions with people than I do currently. Maybe it’s birds of a feather flocking together or maybe sometimes my positive and can-do attitude is being met and matched by others. Irrespective, it opens up so much more avenues for discovery and progress especially when coupled with all the extra energy that is conserved by less stress, fear, and conflict.
I have found a few other things have really helped me. In no particular order, they are:
– Keeping a gratitude journal daily – really simple and only takes 5 mins but this is such a boost when I’m having a tough day. It forces me to confront what I do have and why I am a very lucky man.
– Exercise, fresh air and smiling – simple! Needs no explanation
– Books – huge mentions for Happy Manifesto by Henry Stewart and Happy Hour is 9 to 5 by Alexander Kjerulf
– Being part of the Entrepreneurial Spark scheme (here in the UK and free) – it’s designed to support aspiring young businesses and helps enable you to do great things. Without giving you their spiel, they encourage us to simply ‘Go Do’.
– Floatation tank sessions – may not be for all but I find it’s my version of meditation. In the dark, floating in salt water with no distractions or external ‘input’. For me, it’s bliss.
– My awesome friends and family. They gave me room and the support to re-assess what was important to me. Now, I am stronger and more positive of what can be achieved than ever before.
– Showing gratitude to others and recognizing them – in any area of life (work or personal), be genuine with your thanks and praise those who have made a difference to your day. It feels great for both of you and hopefully they pass that feeling onto others. In my brain, I envision it like a happy snowball gathering momentum.
So… is all this stuff easy? Yes and no. Yes, because inherently I think we all feel the surge of warmth and possibility when we are positively inclined. Plus, as you find a rhythm with it, it does become addictive. To be balanced, at times, it is tough. Life does throw you curve balls. I try to avoid being too hard on myself when I do have a less positive day. Instead of expecting myself to be perfect, I focus on the bigger picture. At times would I have handled this in a far more negative way? Typically, the answer is a resounding yes! So, therefore, I’m more self-aware and more positively empowered than I was before.
What helps you move forward?
We are all different but for me, the strongest driver was self-preservation. I faced two choices – let grief and work pressures chew me up or to be grateful for all that I did have. In my context, what would help me move forward? Being bitter and resentful at my father dying (why him etc?) OR be proud of how he’s shaped me into the man I am today and focusing on all we had shared together.
Moving forward, and outside of the work I do with clients, I always try to carry positive power with me. I want to be the person in the room who listens to you, who is interested in your goals and dreams and helps empower you to do great things. I’d love us all to keep taking positive steps, to put ourselves forward and stretch our comfort zones. Do we all have to be on the same journey? Nope… but we can all find our ways to make a difference in a macro or micro way. It all counts! You just need to find your role to play and then make it happen.
Pete Grosse is based in the UK and runs Team 144 (www.team144.co.uk).
He is passionate about helping to create the type of businesses that people want to work for and fostering environments that allow people to do the best work of their lives. His work helps better attract, develop and retain employees AND clients.
This is a Summer guest post.
Marcella Bremer, the founder of Leadership & Change Magazine is blogging her next book: “Positive Power at Work – How to make a positive difference from any position.” She will resume this series in September 2017.
In the meantime, to catch up reading – start with post #1 or check the Positive Power overview and read the Positive Agent Manifesto.