Archive for March, 2012

The New Power: Pure, Passionate Positivity for Life and Career

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Serious, mainstream discussion about the power of pure, passionate, positive energy is becoming more prevalent everywhere I go – company/client meetings, schools and universities, health clubs, churches, book clubs, you name it. Organizations of all shapes and sizes are indicating a high need for an infusion of positivity throughout their ranks. Meetings, correspondence, water cooler talk, clients/customers, and overall corporate cultures are increasingly becoming infused with negativity in attitudes, demeanors, vocabulary, and rhetoric. Whether the context is personal or professional, pervasive negativity can sabotage all of your other efforts.

As an executive recruiter and business consultant focused on the recruitment of positive leaders, as well as on the development of powerful, positive corporate cultures, I have repeatedly witnessed first-hand the command and influence of pure, positive energy. Whether I am placing an individual into an executive role, or working with an organization to plant the seeds of a more positive, productive culture, the corporate need in this tough economy has been the same for several years: recruit the most positive, resilient, and inspiring leaders possible, and develop initiatives, programs, and job profiles that will engrain a more positive attitude — and more positive results –throughout the organization.

The collective consciousness, or culture, of your organization – its intrinsic values, attitudes, rhetoric, and behaviors — infuses the business and its employees. Positive, affirming corporate cultures are dynamic, energized work environments that proactively drive employee behavior creating better teamwork, and, overall, a more productive, engaged state of mind for all of your employees. Your leaders and managers set the tone for your organization’s culture. And if they are not putting forth a conscious, clear, and consistent effort to be positive these days, the slide will inevitably be toward negativity.

Through Thousands of Conversations… In almost 15 years as a retained executive recruiter, I have had the privilege of interviewing and assessing literally thousands of the globe’s most successful, purposeful, passionate, fulfilled, and joyous individuals. A guiding, intrinsic positivity and passion for what they do are defining traits of the “best of the best” executives — their work is more to them than a job. It is also interesting to note that the executives in “transition” who tend to rebound the fastest — not only securing a challenging and personally fulfilling role, but building an impressive and lasting network along the way — are innately positive individuals with a strong sense of resiliency and faith that they will land on their feet. People – including potential employers – are attracted to them and want to be around them.

Defining Positivity Specifically what constitutes positivity and positive energy as I describe here? Well, this is about a great deal more than merely smiling, posturing, cheerleading, or repeating positive affirmations. This has more to do with a palpable optimism, confidence, faith, encouragement, empowerment, vision, and resiliency in your interpersonal and communication skills, values, beliefs, actions, demeanor, relationships, expressions of gratitude, and overall leadership style.

Profound positivity and positive energy – the kind that carries with it the potential to transform lives and organizations — is substantial, inspiring, and contagious, even in the worst of times. It can’t be faked. It is intrinsic to who you are and how you live your life, personally and professionally.

And it all starts with feeling passionate and purposeful about what you do.

If you are in a leadership role, ask yourself: Do my thoughts, choices, emotions, attitudes, approaches, actions, and belief system all positively align every day in the pursuit of my passion and potential? Does every day bring for me the opportunity to optimize my greatness and success? It is through the daily, personal application of an integrated, positive alignment between your purpose and passion with your thoughts, actions, beliefs, and expressions of gratitude that you will create a life of great reward and fulfillment.

The Power of Living All Aspects of Life with Positive Energy Despite the depressed economy and market conditions, there are those people and organizations that are not merely surviving, but thriving. According to a Stanford Research Institute study, 88 percent of success is about attitude and only 12 percent is about education. Those people who live and work from a baseline of pure, passionate, positivity live fuller lives and enjoy myriad other benefits, including improved health, affirming personal and professional relationships, enhanced joy, productive choices and decisions, effective leadership, greater resiliency, enhanced professional accomplishments and success, and more effective problem-solving abilities.

Your ability to maintaining a positive mindset in both your life and work is a determining success factor, particularly in the toughest of times when so many people are being asked to take on added responsibilities and work longer hours. Everyone has felt the pressure brought on by restructuring, downsizing, upside down life-work balance, external uncertainty, and reduced budgets. The repercussion of these business adjustments is a resultant pervasive attitudinal and cultural slide toward apathy, pessimism, and outright negativity.

The demand for positive leaders has never been greater. You will always be challenged and tested, and an innately positive mindset serves as the bedrock of an iron will and the ability to prevail. To live a truly productive life and have a successful career, you must consistently rise to the occasion when faced with adversity, roadblocks, or negativity. Yet finding individuals, teams, and organizations that have at their core an unwavering positivity is rarer than one might think.

Without the internal fire provided by living and working everyday with purpose and passion, you won’t have the fuel to keep moving forward in the toughest of times. This is the secret of life-long positivity, fulfillment, and joy: irrespective of your specific circumstances, if you first believe that your own life has purpose, you follow your passions, and you live with an abiding faith and perspective that a master plan exists for your life and its inherent lessons, then you tap into a self-actualized personal power and internal certainty that empowers every aspect of your life, including your career.

What Does It Mean to Live with Certainty? I am frequently asked to define what it means to “live with certainty.” It means that the internal faith, belief, authenticity, purpose, passion, and positivity with which you live ignites an internal certainty, power, and influence greater than any fears or anxieties you may have. Self-actualized, high-achievers live and work each day with purpose, passion, and gratitude which serves to further fuel their positive attitude and productivity. Positive leaders understand that while they cannot control every aspect of their lives, they can control their mindset and attitude. They possess an unyielding faith and confidence in their vision and ability to ever-create a better future, personally and professionally. They trust in themselves and their abilities. Pessimism and negativity are not part of their mix.

Make no mistake; this is not the Pollyanna-Sunnyside view of life. Rather, it’s one of the most profound and effective ways to “cowboy-up” — when things get tough you must have the positive belief in yourself and your ability to prevail to get back up, dust yourself off, and keep trying. And as a leader, you must model this approach for your employees every single day.

Positivity as Key Leadership Trait In this challenging business environment, positivity as a key leadership trait is a highly sought after attribute that is increasingly finding its way into every job description I write. Increasingly, when I am retained to replace a senior executive, it is because the incumbent was not a transformational conveyer of positive belief within the organization, but rather was perceived as entirely focused on the financials, unapproachable, overwhelmed, overstressed, and underwater.

Positive leaders generally tend to be more motivated and productive than less positive individuals. They inspire others with their belief and faith in a better future in a way that is contagious. A truly positive leader first believes in the grand potential of his/her own life, which only then can transfer to his/her career through the expression of a passionate and achievable vision for their company, employees, and customers. Whether personally or professionally, the positive leader believes that he/she will successfully tackle the next challenge, climb the next mountain, make that next sale.

Your goal as a leader should be to uplift the beliefs of your employees. As a leader you establish your personal style and “brand,” in part, based upon the level of positive energy in your actions, reactions, vision, beliefs, interactions, relationships, progress, and expressions of gratitude. If you truly want to set yourself up for the next big job or promotion, begin by being the most positive, optimistic, faith-fueled visionary in your organization, particularly during the most challenging times.

Without question your demonstrated belief that you can succeed in a down market will go a long way in bringing out the best in others. This belief should be palpable in everything you say and do, so that when you do have to make the tough calls, your employees will have greater trust that your actions are in the organization’s best interest. The great contributors and great leaders have the ability to remain optimistic and fueled by positive energy even in the worst of times. Particularly when the going gets tough, they maintain positive energy through an optimistic attitude that they control much of their destiny and the best is yet to come, as well as an unflinching belief in a greater purpose which inspires powerful action.

The level to which you feel and express positive energy will directly affect the depth of your relationships and, as a leader, the ensuing level of respect and credibility you receive. Throughout my career working with organizations of every size and sector, I have witnessed the tremendous impact one positive leader can have on an organization. This is especially true with sales leaders where it is said that a lack of positive attitude plays a role in the failure of up to 50 percent of all salespeople. If you can’t successfully overcome rejection and navigate the left turns, hurdles, and roadblocks, you’ll never really understand your own resilience and personal power (or inspire anyone else), nor will you achieve your greatest potential and success.

Do you as a leader, or do the leaders in your organization, understand the impact you/they have on the beliefs, confidence, and goals of your employees? Do your employees believe that you care about them? Do they find you to be inspirational and positive? Do people love working for you? Do you have a reputation for bringing out the best in others? What you personally believe and project — and the limits you set — are contagious and affect the degree to which your employees actually engage and feel loyalty toward you and your organization.

Positivity Begets Positivity I know for certain that positivity begets positivity. As you extend the best of yourself and release positivity into the world, you invite more positive energy into your life, and goodness will ensue. I recently heard Oprah Winfrey say that you must believe that great things can happen in your life. When you are the recipient of goodness or positivity, recognize it, give thanks for it, and hold it in your heart. And then with every opportunity – how you live, how you give, what you do, and who you are, release that goodness and positivity back out into the world as it was given to you.

I look forward to sharing more with you in the months ahead about the power of positive energy and how to inject more of it into your relationships, leadership and team-building approach, and corporate culture. Whether in your career, family, school, sports team, or church group, you can become the positive difference-maker who characteristically reveals your best self and shines. The results will be inspired and engaged family members, children, friends, co-workers, team members, and customers who will in turn feel unleashed and inspired to allow their own best selves to shine. This is the stuff that transformation and success are made of. I invite you to become an active participant in my Positivity Blog — strategies for life and career — by sharing your comments at

Kristi LeBlanc is the Executive Vice President and Managing Director, N.A. Consumer Practice with DHR International, a top-5, retained, global executive search firm. She is also the author of the triple award-winning book, “Living with Certainty: Experience Deep-Soul Joy,” and the founder and CEO of Living with Certainty LLC where she is a workshop presenter, keynote speaker, and organizational consultant with a focus on developing positive leaders and positive corporate cultures. To learn more visit, or call Kristi at 303-997-9328.

Work can provide the opportunity for spiritual and personal, as well as financial growth. If it doesn’t, we’re wasting far too much of our lives. — James Autry

Are You Really Planning for, Working Toward, and Believing the Best?

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Stop looking at your feet and start looking up at the stars. ~Stephen Hawking

Here we are -March 1st. Spring is almost upon us. Personally I have never been so excited to celebrate the tranformative and uplifting powers of spring – more light, more growth, more beginnings, more goodness. I am living and breathing transformation and new possibilities. I am swathed in potential and hope, and I am living with complete and utter faith and positivity — the overarching, underlying, and undeniable secret to Living with Certainty™.

Yes, as we begin a new season, there remain challenges, disappointments, and even despair for too many people. Negativity and pessimism abound, and have infiltrated the business world and politics. The tremendous level of uncertainty we are experiencing in the economy, and in a multitude of ways throughout the world, causes people to feel anxious and even fearful.

We can be certain that in order to move forward in our lives and business, we have to develop and utilize productive means to deal with the negativity, hardships, and tests that will inevitably come our way. And it is precisely as we overcome these challenges and prevail that we develop ourselves and learn more about whom we are and what we are capable of. Every test, every fear, every challenge that we successfully overcome is won through the prevailing of positive energy in the form of our thoughts, emotions, beliefs, attitudes, choices, actions, and solutions.

Clearly, we are all not in a position to filter negativity completely out of our lives and careers. There are negative circumstances and people in our lives who can’t be removed merely through the waving of a magic wand. But we clearly can control our positivity quotient in all respects of our lives which will affect every subsequent outcome. The truth is that you probably do not live with maximum positivity.

Success Traits of the Best of the Best As an executive recruiter I have studied thousands of the best of the best executive leaders in the world. It became obvious to me that the most fulfilled, successful, and joyous of them shared in common an underlying deep faith and positivity. Personally and professionally, this is their approach to life which takes discipline and focus.

Are you really planning for, working toward, and believing the best? Or with every ear ache, conflict, and challenge are you allowing your energy to be lowered, your hopes to be dashed, and your efforts to be sidetracked?

Do you currently live and work every day enveloped in the positive energy of purpose, authenticity, passion, connectivity, love, compassion, faith, and hope? These are the components that are required to live a life that leverages your fullest potentiality and allows you to live with the deepest levels of joy. These are the traits that the top leaders, strongest teams, and most productive employees possess. These are the traits that help to heal your body, transform cultures, create loyal customers, and grow successful businesses. These are the traits that are the antidote for the negativity that plagues personal lives, relationships, careers, teams, and organizations, and that so readily derails success of any sort.

Positive energy is powerful and pure. Your job is to partner every aspect of your being with the purest, most positive energy states. In its most potent form, positive energy is aligned with the power of human purpose and passion. When this energy is poured into our thoughts, actions, beliefs, relationships, and expressions of gratitude, it presents the world with a force with which to be reckoned. When you give love, consider it the greatest gift you can give. When you receive love, consider it the greatest gift life can give to you. Allow the positive energy state you experience when you feel love to provide the benchmark for how you should attempt to live at all times.

If you are a leader, it is incumbent upon you to stem the tide of society’s increasing waves of negativity.  You have to figure out how to overcome it in order to thrive in challenging times.

Purely positive energy transforms lives and organizations and creates abundance. Uncertainty, anxiety, and fear quite simply get in the way. It is my mission to make sure that as many people as possible get a chance to shine – that potential is maximized and joy is multiplied. Everyone has potential, dreams, and imagination that should be explored and shared. Don’t allow doors to close on you. Positive energy and ideas make good things happen.

So how do you begin to have faith, live with hope, embrace authenticity, tackle change, leverage potential, and pursue passion? It’s easier to achieve than you may realize. You begin with the intention to do so, but it also requires a plan and system that clearly delineates a process of discovery and action that you can surrender to with confident faith. Living from a consistently positive energy state inspires purely powerful and positive beliefs and actions. There is no place for dwelling in feelings of worry and worst-case scenarios.

This means letting go of the pessimism and negativity that lowers and densens your positive energy, paralyzes your actions, and derails your positive efforts. As you live with passion and purpose, you tap into a flow of positivity that naturally moves your life and organization forward.

Living with Certainty™ and the Energy Enablers provide you with the safety net you need to begin a new life, a new business, or a new level of teamwork and organizational performance. Living with Certainty™ provides a practical plan for moving forward in a way that feels natural, not forced or reckless. True feelings of purpose, passion and authenticity naturally fuel faith, hope, and trust that overcome anxiety and fear. This is when your actions and efforts begin to transform your life and business.

Gratitude Attracts Positivity There are so many people, events, and circumstances in our lives for which we can and should be feeling and expressing immense gratitude. When you find yourself in a negative flow of energy, turn to gratitude as the antidote. I choose to focus on the positive and that for which I am immensely grateful, and am screening out as much of the extraneous, unnecessary daily negativity from my life as possible. I am extremely discriminating about whom and what find their way through my negativity filters.

Seize this time to undertake needed change and transformation. You can do this – the question is whether you can finally commit to a new way of life. It’s worth the effort. As network TV journalist, Diane Sawyer, has said, joy and positivity are forces — energy multipliers in everything we do. Take a few minutes right now to jot down the actions you can take and changes  you can make to ensure that 2012 will be an amazing year.