Honey! … it’s what turns a good leader into a GREAT leader.

There is an old saying… you attract more flies with Honey than you do with Vinegar. Although, I discovered there is a catcher that lure’s in flies with the smell of vinegar and captures them with honey… so odd.

“Honey” is an analogy for being nice. It’s the thought that by being a good person and contributing more to the lives of others, you gain more out of life.

“I truly think that I can drive home my point through honey, not vinegar” — Gary Vaynerchuk

It’s not crazy or outlandish it’s fact. Sharing positivity creates greatness in the world, preaching negativity breeds bad. But let’s focus on a statement more recent then our flies with honey saying.

“givers” — people who share their time, contacts, or know-how without expectation of payback — dominate the top of their fields. “This pattern holds up across the board,”

That is from professor Adam Grant. His best-selling book, Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, also notes no matter your profession or role this applies across the board.

So giving a high amount of honey has always been the key to being a great leader.

Sweet is not always the way

It’s not popular to be a harsh leader but the public is fascinated with it. Steve Jobs, Martha Stewart, and even Donald Trump are documented jerks with a track record of success. Which brings up an interesting thing to consider:

Most people who exert non-honey attitudes have not always been this way. There are triggers where something shifts to alter a personal style or direction.

The choice to be a positive leader is both a social trigger and an internal choice sparked by the influences around you.

Start brewing honey

Which brings us to the question: how does one create honey?

I can only speak from my own leadership experiences, but I feel that the statement in the image below is the starting point.

Surrounding yourself with 4 incredible leaders is the beginning to dispersing honey. The company you keep is a direct reflection of the outcomes you create for yourself and other people.

Stock your main tribe with great people that make you exceptional. It helps you become a stronger, positive, and more confident leader when you invest in people that invest in you.

Choose people that bring positive energy, great mentorship, and teamwork that celebrates your wins and your losses.

Random acts of kindness

Have you ever bought coffee for the next 15 people in line? or invested weekend personal time to help a co-worker with a side business at a farmers market?

If you perform acts like these than congratulations! You are ahead of the game in the Honey department. Random acts of kindness increase positive vibes in you as well as in others.

The great thing is that kindness is super contagious :

“The positive effects of kindness are experienced in the brain of everyone who witnessed the act, improving their mood and making them significantly more likely to “pay it forward.” This means one good deed in a crowded area can create a domino effect and improve the day of dozens of people!”

That is from the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation a group that focuses on the effects of kindness on humans.

Always give thanks and show gratitude

If someone does something that touches your heart or has a meaningful impact on you… tell them. Not because it’s polite, but because you care and they should know it.

This year my wife and I made a choice to let people know how thankful we are for the impact they have had on our lives. We write Thank You cards… genuine, heartfelt, and truthful Thank You cards.

Although sitting down every week to write in a card seems so simple, taking the time to thank someone and show them gratitude is anything but simple.

It’s important.

Invest in Empathy

Many thought leaders speak about empathy — The ability to understand the feelings of others — it leads you to finding out what type of honey people need from you.

When someone needs something from you executing for them means more than any amount of money. So to be empathetic you have to LISTEN at all times. I personally have realized the most success in my life under leaders with strong amounts of empathy who listen well.

But I never understood how being empathetic was connected to being a great leader. Empathy is not about high fives, raises, or canned speeches.

You want to create honey for people then work on empathy and execute when people need you.

Ignore what’s outside the hive

I am always intrigued when someone makes a positive change in their life. Usually a close friend or family member try’s to dump on the recent success or negates the hard work put in. Because of this GOOD leader’s do not become GREAT.

To overcome the surrounding negativity take’s a lot of work so it’s easier to compromise and go with the herd then focus on being a positive person. If you want to be a positive leader you have to walk to the beat of your own drum.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win” — Mahatma Gandhi

Being positive may seem like an easy thing to do but it’s not. We as human’s are so quick to focus on the negative influences around us to let them lead our life choices.

Remain positive, it takes twice as much work but brings ten times the reward.

Once you get it… you’ll know

Practice using honey everyday, the world needs more great leaders that guide people with positivity. Using Honey as a leader is the right way to lead.

Honey is — having a great tribe that makes you better,

Honey is — showing kindness in all forms,

Honey is — being thankful and showing gratitude,

Honey is — showing empathy for everyone and everything,

Honey is — doing what is right because it’s what you want.

-MW