“Building a great team is not just about feeding the positive.  We must also weed the negative.  Identify it.  Confront it.  Transform it.  Remove it.” – Jon Gordon

One of the cultural tenets we work under is “purge negativity”.

Gordon’s imperative of weeding the negative resonates.

We’ve all heard it: “one rotten apple spoils the barrel”.

I like the order Gordon provides.

Identify it:  Negativity doesn’t hide.  It intends to be noticed.  It is aggressive and has a quick impact.  If we want our teams to succeed, we must be on the watch for it.

Confront it:  Don’t let negativity linger.  Address it.  This is not a “leadership” or “boss” thing.  The best confrontation occurs when a teammate close by addresses it. Confrontation doesn’t have to be negative.  In fact, it’s caring.  When we see negativity and ask what’s up, that’s confronting it.  We don’t let it pass.

Transform it:  Negativity doesn’t have to last.  It’s not a permanent condition.  Gordon’s verb transform means that working together a team can turn negativity around.  It takes communication.  It takes change.  It takes action.

Remove it:  If negativity can’t be transformed, it needs to be irradiated.  If it’s allowed to stay, it will fester.  Can’t happen.  Removing negativity can mean hard choices.  It takes courage to make them.  But, it must be done.

Try to fix it when you see it.  Be quick about it.

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PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace
PalletOne Inc.
Company President, Howe Q. Wallace

Since 2005, he has been sharing his thoughts on the organization, leadership, and communication in an online daily note to teammates called Daily with HQ.


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