But if you want to achieve something, be positive.
Influence is easy when you’re a critic. Dissatisfaction spreads like an infection. Look at the way of social media – posts get shares if there’s a government to complain about, a group to parody, or an opinion to twist. Likewise, the comment section of on-line news items is the best place to find new and creative insults (within the flood of predictable and misspelled old insults).
But it’s not just the on-line world. I’ve noticed that ‘negative vibes’ get traction in almost any group: sporting, community, workplace. Unlike physics, negative attracts negative.
If you want to be negative, the great thing is that there are two ways to choose. The obvious way is to openly complain, ‘Our manager has no idea about the work we do.’ Not bad for beginners.
The second way, and far more elegant, is stealth. Say nothing, but be a black cloud hanging over the group. No gossip, lies or statements, just a grumpy attitude. It’s almost guaranteed that people will catch your infection. And they will go with you in negativity. Congratulations, you’re a leader!
Therefore if your desire is to lead, the easiest option is to carp and criticise. If you want influence – and nothing more than influence – be a cynic. People will follow you, you will be an individual of influence.
On the other hand, if you want to make something happen, you will need to be positive. You will need to communicate a direction and a pathway ahead.
It’s positive to say, “We’re going to make this orchestra even better,” or, “We can get some more funding for this charity,” or, “Let’s use more of the skills in the team.”
This involves leadership, but not leadership for its own sake. It’s leading for the sake of the team, for the sake of others. Leading is tool for love.