“My responsibility is leadership, and the minute I get negative, that is going to have an influence on my team.” – Don Shula

Positive Quote: “My responsibility is leadership, and the minute I get negative, that is going to have an influence on my team.” – Don Shula


I find this quote to be true, the outward emotions and reactions a leader makes is watched closely by their team. I usually use the example of air travel… if the flight attendant is crying, yelling, throwing things, rolling their eyes, being rude, or saying that the plane is going to crash does it impact the passenger. Absolutely.


Now I am not saying to be fake or insincere or to hide and pretend to be something you are not. What I am saying, is that as a leader, we need to know and understand that how we react and what we say influences the team.


It raises some questions, that as a leader I should ask myself.


  • When someone brings me bad or not so good news, what do I say, how do I react?
  • When someone disagrees with me, how do I react? Do I get defensive? Do I make excuses? Do I try to justify?
  • Do I say negative things about people when those people are not around? Or worse, when they are around?
  • Do I shut down open discussions in team meetings?
  • Do I reject the ideas and opinions from others without hearing them out fully?
  • Do I make most things urgent and an emergency when I delegate or ask for deliverables?
  • Do I criticize and not applaud?
  • Do I raise my voice more often than not?
  • What is my stress default?


As you can see, there are many ways that we as leaders can negatively impact our team and our environment.


Yes, there is a time and place for constructive negativity, yet, knowing how to phrase it and when to voice it is key. Sometimes the tough and hard message needs to be delivered. There will be times when you need to share negative news or deliver a negative message, yet those times should be tempered with compassion and empathy and not a part of a automatic reaction.


What do you think of this quote?


Have a marvelous Tuesday.



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