Positive Leaders Increase Wellbeing in the Company

Positive Leaders Increase Wellbeing in the Company


In case of aircraft cabin depressurization, adults should put on their own oxygen mask before helping their children. Something similar should happen at work. Leaders are constantly in the spotlight. They are evaluated on results for which they are not the only ones responsible. They are forced to multitask and consequently subject to a very high risk of discomfort. As on a plane, they should take care of their own well-being before caring about their employees.
Consequences are otherwise serious: if they do not care about their own well-being, leaders reduce their chance of generating collaborative relationships, performing analyses, making sustainable decisions (beneficial in the medium to long term). Well-being is at the core of the concept of positive leadership. In today’s organizations, this leadership style is more effective than the traditional leadership driven by the command-and-control logic.
Gabriella Bagnato, Laura Baruffaldi and Vincenzo Perrone, professors of SDA Bocconi Business School, are investigating the dynamics of positive leadership to strengthen the empirical evidence on its validity and disprove some of the misconceptions surrounding it. They are currently collecting data from two different surveys conducted a few months apart on pairs of managers and employees.
“The leader that generates well-being and therefore economic value is the one that promotes collaboration, builds trust and mutual respect, recognizes the value and the potential in the subordinates”, professor Bagnato says. The leader generates well-being when he is able to recognize skills and to help in acquiring new ones. This is crucial in a world where single companies are no longer able to develop career paths for their employees.
Communication skills also matter: leaders should be able to make sense of the additional efforts that are more and more required today. “Positive leadership can generate positive deviance. It happens when employees exceed expectations by generating value that goes beyond the mere execution, producing ideas, innovation, collaboration and a positive organizational climate”.

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