Are You Positive Or Negative?

If you value negativity then your life will ultimately be a negative experience. If you value positivity, then your life will ultimately be an amazing experience. It’s your choice what you value.

Every person on your team and within your organisation has values. The low performing leaders will have values, the average leaders will have values, and you as a highly effective leader will also have values. Everyone’s values will be different.

1. Values

People who are either average or low performing leaders do not have the same options as a highly effective leader. It is your values and your character that raise you above the rest of your people as a highly effective leader, and provide you with more options.

You will use these options to enable you to be more in control of your future and most importantly yourself. As your character level keeps increasing, so will your influence, and your people who have the right attitude, and with values that are similar to yours will choose to follow you.

However, there are low impact leaders in many teams also, and their values are usually the opposite of a highly effective leader. Low performing leaders have a much lower character level than a highly effective leader.


They have the objective to bring the rest of the team down to their level. They will not try to raise their character level like a highly effective leader would because that will conflict with their values. They want to poison the team, and in my experience they usually spread their poison successfully.

Early on in my career, I believed that I had to be like the low performing leaders because it was uncool to become highly effective. I saw it as being a “goody two-shoes,” and there was no way I could be seen to be like that.

The reason I believed this is because the other, more experienced low performing leaders were poisoning my mind. If anyone on the team was trying to raise their character level or increase their influence by becoming more effective, then we would pull them right back down to our low performing level.

We couldn’t let anyone become the “main man/woman” or the “superstar” of the team. Unfortunately, it was this thinking that made us one of the lowest performing teams in the organisation. Luckily for me I was only 19 years old, so I had a lot to learn.

2. Making A Difference

It wasn’t until I was 22 years old that I started to “see the light” and realised that I could make a difference, I could become a highly effective team player, and eventually a highly effective leader. I changed my attitude from being negative and “cool,” to being positive and “ambitious.”

My relationships with others within the organisation got a lot better, and became really positive, especially with the other highly effective leaders. Then I began to build positive relationships with my own line manager, the other engineering managers, and eventually the engineering director.

The low performing leaders on my team did not like this at all. I got teased by them, and was being accused of “boot licking,” and “brown nosing” to the bosses. It got a lot worse than this too.

It was up to me to decide if I was going to listen to the low performing leaders, and allow their insults to get to me, and then lower myself back down to their level. Or, I could decide to keep raising my character level and work on myself to become a highly effective leader. I chose to do the latter.

Low performing leaders who spread their negativity across the team have already made their decision to behave in that way. They have no ambition to raise their character level or increase their influence in a positive manner, they are committed to increasing their influence in a negative manner.

Their ambition is to try and shame any team member who wants to make a positive difference into lowering themselves to their low performing level. They use manipulation tactics, and when they succeed, the whole team becomes low performing.

3. Highly Effective Leaders

Highly effective leaders know how to handle working with low performing, poisonous leaders. They can control themselves to not be influenced by their negativity, and will never drop their high level character to anywhere even close to a low performing leader.

They interact with low performing leaders only when they need to, and they will end any relationship with them if and when they need to. Highly effective leaders have the strength and awareness to know when a relationship is getting worse, and they have the ability to terminate it when needed.

They can also do this if their boss is low performing and poisonous too. Or, if the organisation they work for has a poisonous culture, then they will know when to end the relationship and move on.

Having the courage and strength to end poisonous relationships with people, leaders/bosses, or even your employer is imperative as a highly effective leader. Having self – control is a very important trait of a highly effective leader, and they know exactly how to stop anybody trying to control them.

Building relationships, and influencing the people who are vulnerable to being controlled by low performing leaders is a responsibility of a highly effective leader. They want to help their people in raising their own character level, and increasing their influence in a positive manner.

They do not want their people being caught in the clutches of poisonous team members. Highly effective leaders want to create other highly effective leaders. Whereas low performing, poisonous leaders want to create other low performing, poisonous leaders.

One of my greatest achievements was building the strength and the courage to stand up against low performing, poisonous leaders. It took me a while to build that strength and courage, and it was extremely difficult to stand against this negativity, but I learned how to do it and eventually broke free.

There are a lot of really good people I have worked with in the past who could not break free of the negativity, and they are still in the same place today. People find it especially more difficult when they don’t have any highly effective leaders who can help them, and who they can follow.

In the end, people give in to the negativity, and let themselves be controlled because it is the easier option.

It’s the easy option to remain in a negative team, and keep negative relationships with people. The ironic thing is, the negative people want things to improve, but they focus on the wrong things. The expect everything to change around them.

However, if they want things to improve, they must first improve themselves, not everything else. So, because they are unwilling to change themselves and their attitudes, everything remains the same.

4. Ignoring Negativity

The purpose of writing this article and creating my website is to help you to learn how to raise your character level, increase your influence, and spread positivity through your team and organisation.


As you do this, you must IGNORE NEGATIVITY, and you must avoid the low performing, poisonous leaders. You must also be committed to your people who need your help, so that they can raise their character levels, and increase their influence just like you.

As I started to climb higher on my journey, and the more people I helped along the way, I received quite a lot of praise from people and colleagues. I also found that from people who I considered to be friends once were not very supportive at all.

They would be trying to bring me down to their level, but I didn’t let them, and I ended our relationship. This is something you must do too, if you have to that is. It is not easy, but it is the only way you can continue to raise your level and increase your influence.

You must not let anybody hold you back, whether it is a member of your team, a friend, a family member, or even your boss. Stay true to yourself and your journey, and the right people will notice you, and the right people will support you.

When we build great relationships, we build trust. With the support and trust of our great relationships, we will become stronger and build the courage to stand up against negative, low performing, and poisonous people.

I welcome hearing how this post has influenced the way you think, the way you lead, or the results you have achieved because of what you’ve learned in it. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below.

Check out my other articles by Clicking HERE

All the best,

Tom (LeadGrowInfluence)

10 thoughts on “Are You Positive Or Negative?

  1. Hi Tom,
    You have the mindset right when you ask “Are You Positive or Negative”. Some people don’t even realize they are as negative as they are. And I witnessed the same culture that you describe. People will actually call you names because you want to try to get ahead in the company.

    And I have seen jobs actually changed to ensure that everyone in our “union” shop got a job with “seniority” and not with any educational background qualifications.

    Trying to become a better employee, or more effective leader when you have the positive mindset, can be quite an uphill journey. In a union shop, it’s all about how old you are on the roster.

    Seniority can also be a real obstacle. The negative people can also hold you back using the unions.
    It is not easy trying to get ahead with negative people around you.

    1. Hi Chas,

      Thank you for sharing your experiences in the workplace and seeing positive and negative attitudes.

      I hope people can relate to you and learn from your experiences as much as they can learn from me.

      It is not easy to get ahead with negative people, you are right there. So keep sharing your inspiration and positivity with the people you surround yourself with and help them be more positive.

      All the best,


  2. Thanks for sharing this information, Tom. These insights are the basics of creating a positive lifestyle based on reaping what we sow in terms of the beliefs and thoughts on which we focus. It is a simple process but requires diligence and persistence due to the faulty default programs we have picked up along the way. All the best.

    1. Hi Joseph,

      My pleasure in sharing and thank you for your comment.

      I’m glad that you can see the positivity out of my article and I hope you can spread that positivity with your people.

      All the best,


  3. It is, unfortunately, so much easier to be negative in a workplace than positive. It is easier to moan and complain than to perform and improve their work environment. I have seen it in some workplaces and it is true that, even though you have a positive mindset, the negativity can pull you in. I have had the experience of negative people in different workplaces; with colleagues and bosses as well, and it gets to you. I often walked away and went to another room or got “busy” doing something else, because I didn’t want to be in that negative field of energy.

    The other negative type, the one who sees a shining star in their team, and instead of helping him/her rise they make sure to keep him/her down so that they can continue being the stars or remain in the spotlight. I’ve seen it at work and also – especially! – in animal rescue. It is sickening how people can be so negative and forget that we are all a team. If one pulls the others down, the team has a hard time being successful.

    1. Hi Christine,

      Thank you for sharing your thorough comment.

      I completely agree that it is unfortunate that most people do have a negative attitude in the workplace. That is because most people do not like the job they have, it has been a fact of life forever.

      I hope we can all grow within ourselves to change our attitudes in the workplace because we spend most of our lives in work really.

      Keep being positive and keep sharing your positivity with your people.

      All the best,


  4. Hi Tom

    This is a very interesting article, thank you so much.

    Having worked in the corporate world in different roles, I can really identify with what you have shared here.

    If you had to list them, what would you say are the values and characteristics of highly effective (positive) and less effective (negative) leaders?

    I look forward to your response.


    1. Hi Louise,

      Thank you for sharing your comment.

      For a highly effective leader are discipline, sacrifice, responsibility and respect.

      By living your values, and leading from the front, you are building a stronger team, and a stronger culture. By sharing your values, you are creating highly effective leaders.

      All the best,


  5. Honestly, I have to admit that in the past years, I kind of focused on negativity. Which is kind of difficult I must admit. I mean I was in a leadership role, but the turnover rate was so insanely high. I mean it was easy to focus on the negative aspects of the job.

    Do you have any tips for when your starting to think negative things and what you can do to make them more positive?

    1. Hi Garen,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      I really appreciate your honesty. We have all been there and we will be there again when looking at negativity. We just need to make sure that next time we can control it better.

      When you start to think negative, what I do is think about where you are in your life and how you got there. Negativity and positivity is a decision we make. We can either decide to be negative or decide to be positive.

      So, we just need to make the right decision everytime we are feeling down. Think of positive things that happened in your life and focus on them.

      If you would like to talk more on this then please don’t hesitate to Email me.

      All the best,


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