JoAnna Brandi, Return on Happiness

We just moved through an incredibly challenging year.


It’s the most toxic one I’ve ever experienced. Perhaps you feel the same.

Hacking, haranguing and a harrowing election cycle has put a damper on happiness for so many.



Knowing I was going to write to you today, I sat over the weekend, tapped into my intuition, asked for wisdom and got quiet. I heard only two words – Heliotropic Effect.


What the hell is Heliotropic and why should you care about it?


It’s the tendency of all living systems to turn toward that which is life giving and away from that which is life depleting.


You care because the “environmental” conditions of your culture determine how well you take care of your customers and because your success depends on your ability to get people to show up – with heart and soul– and do a little bit extra.  


In this do-more-with-less business reality, discretionary effort is what makes the difference in outrageously successful companies. The ‘going-the-extra-mile’ behavior is what makes extraordinary companies stand out and what makes customers respond with exuberance, enthusiasm and five stars.


You know what the Heliotropic Effect is.


Put a plant on a table near a window and it will turn towards the light. The light energizes it and helps it grow. Plants naturally lean toward the light and so do people.


But what happens if you water that plant with salt water? Its roots will shrink up to pull away from the toxicity, quite a bit like people fed with criticism, cynicism, fear or negativity at work.


So here’s the best advice this Positive Leadership Coach can give you at the end of 2016.


Choose to leave the toxicity behind, all of it. Toxic behaviors deplete, demoralize and disengage human beings. We all have them to some degree (even if it’s only in our toxic self-talk as we look in the mirror.) Root out and let go of toxicity in any form.


Continue to expand your capacity for experiencing positive emotions. As you do that your “energy broadcasts” become more upbeat, more attractive and more inspiring to your team. You become an up-lifter and an energizer.


Commit to expanding your capacity for creating high quality and happier connections with others. People can feel your energy – and your life-giving light. Every connection you make has a “spillover effect” and goes three degrees beyond the person you are interacting with – to spread goodness – or toxicity – into the world. Choose wisely.


You lead from a place of love or you lead from a place of fear. The needle moves back and forth for most of us and we can see the results. Fear squelches creativity, love encourages it.


According to Gary Hamel, the world’s reigning strategy guru, 79% of leaders say that innovation is a strategic priority and that we need people to willingly bring their initiative, imagination and passion to work. If it’s a priority for you or your company know this:


People will happily bring their gifts to work when they know they will be appreciated, acknowledged and celebrated. If there are to be solutions to the world’s problems, they will rise from cultures that nourish “positively deviant” behaviors.


Let’s leave this tumultuous year behind. Here’s what I want you to do. As you leave 2016 write down the toxic habits, language or actions that still remain in your leadership practice and your life. Then find a safe place to take a lighter to that paper – and burn it! Watch your toxic thoughts go up in flames.


Then start the process of consciously considering the kind of leader you want to become in 2017. Positive Leaders have a “Heliotropic effect.” Do you?


Be the light,




PS Give yourself a holiday gift! There’s still time to scoop up your copy of my new E-Course – The Practice of Positive Leadership: Use the Science of Happiness to Keep Employees Engaged and Customers Happy at special reduced “launch” pricing! It’s a self-paced 10 Unit immersion in how to become a “Positive Energizer” for the people in your life.


It’s also a cost effective way to do team training too. Wondering how? Give me a shout and I’ll tell you how. If you purchase copies before the end of the year for your team of 10 or more I will do a complimentary teleclass to introduce it! Join us in creating a more positive work world! (You can start the course in 2017 on the upswing of a new year!

Fb Comments