August 2017 Educate

Book Review: “The Power of Positive Leadership” By Jon Gordon


Written By: Sharon Brown, Prospect Strategy Analyst, University of Florida Office of Advancement

Does the title of this book tempt you, or are you more likely to turn away? Maybe you’re the type of person who is labeled “negative,” but you would call yourself “realistic.” If you give “The Power of Positive Leadership” a try, you will learn that being positive isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a deliberate choice and a series of actions that, author Jon Gordon says, can change teams and organizations — and even the world.

Gordon is the prolific author of 14 books, as well as a speaker, motivator and consultant. His works are not revolutionary or highbrow. His talent is his storytelling and presentation. He’s down to earth and writes about things that are quite simple. But, it’s this type of concept that is often the most difficult to embrace and live. In this book, he gives the reader all the reasons why positive leadership is the right choice as well as practical suggestions to implement it immediately.

One of the best parts of this guide is Gordon’s relentless confidence in his premise: that positive, optimistic leadership makes a significant difference in leaders and their teams. It all starts with vision. Gordon describes an organization’s vision as its North Star and stresses that the vision must be shared with and embraced by everyone. To Gordon, the most important job for a leader is to drive a positive and energetic culture that is rooted in that vision. The leader must live it and shouldn’t fool themselves — employees can tell when things are fake or phoned in.

I especially liked the section on building great relationships within a team. Of course, communication is the key: consistent, reliable, useful communication from the top down. Gordon says that a good leader will take time to physically walk around to talk — and listen — to employees. He also points out that any void in communication will inevitably be filled with negativity, not to mention rumors, which can sabotage a team. Openness and optimism will beat a “need to know” mentality anytime.

Jon Gordon, Author of “The Power of Positive Leadership”

In “The Power of Positive Leadership,” Gordon lays out a plan that anyone can follow. He asks the reader to create a vision, share it, and then be relentless in leading with optimism and positivity. He encourages us to confront and transform negativity. And, when that can’t be done, he recommends removing the source of negativity. Yes, sometimes you must let a person go, even a strong performer, if the person can’t or won’t let go of negativity. Gordon wants us to pursue excellence — can we give one percent more every day?

Even though this book is intended for business leaders, I’d recommend it to anyone. It’s important to note that everyone is a leader of themselves. We all might not have a C-suite title, but we can lead by example and lead from where we are. It’s positively the best way to go.

One of the best parts of this guide is Gordon’s relentless confidence in his premise: that positive, optimistic leadership makes a significant difference in leaders and their teams. It all starts with vision. Gordon describes an organization’s vision as its North Star and stresses that the vision must be shared with and embraced by everyone.

 

SHARON BROWN is a Prospect Strategy Analyst with the University of Florida Office of Advancement. A graduate of UF’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, she is happy to have found a career that marries reading, writing and being curious. She and her husband, also a CLAS alum, live in Gainesville.

Leave a Comment