Can You Ignore Negativity?

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. A Highly Effective Leader’s Options

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 performing 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.

2. Changing Your Attitude

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.

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.

3. Keeping Positive

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.

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.

4. Ending Negative Relationships

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.

The purpose of writing this post 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 (Lead, Grow, Influence)

10 thoughts on “Can You Ignore Negativity?

  1. Hi Tom,

    This is absolutely true on all the level of life .Thanks for the great lesson you always share .If only all the people in the world could read this ,there would be less and less troubles .


    1. Hi Jim-Kelly,

      Thank you so much for your amazing comments as always. I’m so pleased you found this valuable.

      With the way the world is at present with this virus, we need all the help, inspiration and motivation we can get.

      Keep well my friend, and keep engaging.

      All the best,


  2. Highly appreciate the content…….
    It made a lot of sense while being motivational too. I know that I have grasped a lot of new concepts and I look forward to more.

    1. Hi Muhammed,

      Thank you for your comment, and I am really happy that you found the article helpful.

      I am posting every Monday, Wednesday and Friday so please return and keep engaging.

      Stay well, and all the best.


  3. Hi!
    Thank you so much for this – it’s truly a needed post.
    These concepts are definitely true in the workplace, and also in all areas of life.
    So many people love to focus on the negative, and while positivity is contagious, negative attitudes and toxic words can spread like wildfire. Like you said, we need “courage and strength” to look past the negativity and walk forward with confidence. I love how you said that we can make a difference – it all starts with us taking one step to overlook the problems that bring us down and invest in those who need our help.
    Thank you again!

    1. Hi Kayla,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I love how you have found the article valuable.

      With the way the world is at present, we need all the help, inspiration and motivation we can get. We also need to do our best to keep positive and focus on the right things.

      Thanks again for your comment, and I really hope you are well and looking after yourself and your people.

      All the best, and keep engaging.


        1. Hi Kayla,

          Thanks for your reply.

          You are right. What we think about most is what we become, so be nice to yourself during your thinking time.

          Best of luck to you too, keep engaging, and keep well.


  4. Hi Tom,
    Great post. As a program leader myself I totally agree with what you’re saying here.
    Throughout my career I’ve had to distance myself from certain friends and coworkers who’s negative attitude toward the employer or position was just getting in the way of any productivity and me achieving my goals.
    I think that great leaders should be building their team up to succeed, both for the business and themselves. Managing relationships can be challenging when you have negative team members, but having a positive attitude and emotional intelligence goes along way when successfully managing a team.

    Thoroughly enjoyed this post.


    1. Hi Tracy,

      Thank you for your comment, and I am so pleased that you found the article helpful.

      Throughout your career you have definitely done the right thing. Keep focussing on the positives and don’t let the negatives get in the way of what you want to achieve in your career, and in your life.

      You have a great attitude so don’t let that go. We are having a very tough time throughout the world at present, so we need as many great attitudes as we can get.

      Please return and keep engaging.

      All the best,


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