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Leadership is All About Enthusiasm

Being a leader is all about enthusiasm.  Even one enthusiastic person in a group can change the entire attitude of that group – and if you’re the leader it must be you.

Enthusiasm is one of the critical characteristics that defines the leader that gets superior results from their people.

Do you know anyone who ‘sucks the oxygen out of the room’ when they enter – someone whose presence immediately drives down everyone’s motivation & positivity and generally drags the group down?  .

That’s what the psychologists call ‘Emotional Contagion’ – whereby the moods and attitudes of one group member can spread like a virus through an entire group in the blink of an eye.

The good news is that this works in reverse too – and positive emotions can be spread just as effectively as negative ones.

Define a leader in one word? Enthusiasm.

It’s like electricity. You cannot see it, but you can see its power and what that power can do. Everyone is irresistibly attracted to a leader who emanates energy and passion.  It is highly contagious. When you work with a leader like that you finding yourself mimicking their mood and behaviour – followers automatically start behaving like their leader.    That’s emotional contagion at work.

How to be enthusiastic more of the time.

1. Do something you love. You cannot sustain a genuine, consistent, driving, passionate and motivated energy in the long term unless you are doing something you love, something you feel passionate about, something you believe in.

When you’re excited about what you’re doing you become more animated and energetic – and when that happens you become unstoppable. Success is inevitable.

If you cannot be excited about what you’re doing now think hard: is it time to look at other ways of investing your precious life?

2. Tap into previous passion. Of course, being human, even if you’re doing something you’re crazy about, there will be days when you find that you’re not automatically overflowing with your normal level of enthusiasm. On those days you have to find a source of enthusiasm to consciously tap into.  Simply recall a time when you were positively alive with energy, when you were aware that others around you could feel your passion. Remember that moment and tune into it. Remember what you felt, how you walked, how you spoke – and you’ll recover that excitement and tap into the energy it brings with it. With practice you’ll find that you’re able to turn it on instantly at will simply by recalling an occasion when you were at your most enthusiastic.

3. Plug in to someone else. Alternatively call someone you know who is reliably passionate and plug in for a recharge.  Just talking with someone energetic will get you going faster. Don’t expect it to be there all of the time automatically – work on it.

4. Act ‘as if’. Finally, even when it doesn’t come naturally act enthusiastically and you’ll become more enthusiastic. Do the things you do when you’re enthusiastic and you’ll find that your enthusiasm starts to rise automatically.  As this article says “once people engage in the mimicking behavior, they then experience the emotion itself”. Don’t wait- proactively generate your own enthusiasm.

Bottom line: when you share your energetic with those around you they become energetic, and they in turn share their energy with you. Suddenly everyone’s buzzing at an even higher level – and you are the catalyst.  This is the essence of genuine charismatic leadership.

As an enthusiastic leader you can become an extremely motivating force in the lives of those who work for you, you can dramatically raise the positivity of your environment, and can achieve better results from your people simply by exposing them to your more energetic and passionate side – now isn’t that a good deal?!

What experience have you had with enthusiasm or emotional contagion – any stories to share?

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