David Dye Reviews Lead Positive
David Dye Reviews Lead Positive: What Highly Effective Leaders See, Say, and Do by Kathryn D. Cramer
Sometimes leadership is as simple as changing one or two words.
It’s the difference between a team that says “we can’t do this” and a leader who asks, “How can we?”
I’ve watched many leaders and teams rapidly shift from spent to speedy with this simple change in focus. It works because your brain is wired to find what you look for. Look for problems and you find problems. Look for solutions and you’re a lot more likely to find them.
This foundational aspect of human behavior is at the core of Kathryn Cramer’s Lead Positive : What highly effective leaders see, say, and do.
Whether you’re a corporate or community leader, are paid or a volunteer, Lead Positive is an excellent resource if you want to lead positive change in your organization.
Cramer’s writing is accessible and straightforward, yet profound in its implications. You’ll find examples ranging from individual’s experiences to widely understood case studies that bring her points to life.
The book follows the title as it explores what effective leaders see, say, and do. This is important. If you’re a “get-to-the-point” type of person, you might be tempted to skip to Chapter 12: Driving Positive Change. After all, that’s what you really want, right?
Don’t do it. This is not a book where you can skip past introductory material and get the substance at the end. The foundations Cramer lays down in terms of what leaders see – what they actively look for, are critical to your success. In fact, perhaps the most important chapter is Chapter 1: What you see is what you get.
What you choose to see in your team members, circumstances, and opportunities effectively determines what you will later say and do. Cramer’s see-say-do framework will work, but only if you begin with what you see.
In fact, if you get this step right, you’re much more likely to lead effectively without consciously thinking about the next steps. It’s like when a beginning driver turns their head to look behind them…they tend to point the car in whatever direction they look.
Cramer says you will likely discover that you already know what to do, once you’ve put your focus on the right things. Tapping into that knowledge requires a shift in mindset.
What is it that should have your focus? The answer to that question is the heart of Lead Positive and something every leader should be required to read.
The answer is to focus on strength, on opportunity, on purpose, on what is working. In short, focus on the positive. This isn’t magical thinking. This is research-driven practical advice that will energize your team and produce results.
Possibly, the most important point for any leader trying to drive positive change is found on page two: “People follow people, not ideas.” Ideas like profit, revenue, and growth don’t tap into human energy. They may impact your team, but they’re basically meaningless to them in their day-to-day decisions.
In contrast, when you focus on what Cramer calls Asset Based Thinking: what is working, what strengths are present, and what potentials exist, you bring out the best in yourself and in your team. People are attracted to purpose, to growth, and to achievement.
Cramer’s see-say-do framework gives you a practical guide to discover what is working, to find the strengths in yourself and others, and to look at the real opportunities in your circumstances. Then she guides you through how to talk about and act on what you find.
One of my favorite applications in the book goes almost unnoticed. Cramer talks about the human penchant for negativity. Without training and intention, many leaders go there first, even though it doesn’t work as well.
But – when it comes to negativity, Cramer still calls out a strength: this focus on the negative kept us alive! It worked, it can be strength, and there is opportunity to influence when we move beyond it.
It’s always good when authors embody their own message and Cramer does this well. I heartily recommend Lead Positive for every leader who sincerely wants to drive positive change. It is an essential addition to your leadership library.
Buy Lead Positive: What Highly Effective Leaders See, Say, and Do by Kathryn D. Cramer on Amazon now!