Discovering How Bad Things Can Get

The Positive Leadership game is based on a deck of cards. Each card contains a sentence describing a positive practice that is verified in research. Players surface real problems and then use the cards to collectively resolve the problem. At the end of the game, we challenge the people to imagine other uses for the cards. There are many.
Recently a past participant shared her experience. She determined to keep the deck on her desk. Each day she turned over the top card and committed to implement the practice.   This is actually an impressive mechanism of leadership self-development. Yet what happened was surprising.
One day she turned over a card that said, “In meetings you can begin by inviting each person to share a statement of what they are grateful for.” So at her next meeting she invited her direct reports to each make a positive statement. Not one was able to do so. This event proved valuable. Everyone could see how negative the culture had become. They all accepted and agreed on the need to change.

  • Why was her practice “a mechanism of leadership self-development?”
  • Why to people live in negative cultures?
  • What would happen if at your next meeting, you issued the same invitation?
  • How could we use this passage to create a more positive organization?

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