Peter Aceto is a passionate leader. As the President and CEO of Tangerine, he stands for more than a leader of a bank: his goal is to change the conversation about leadership, and to inspire unconventional thinking and transparency that delivers unparalleled results for business and consumers. His new book, Weology: How Everybody Wins When We Comes Before Me, will be published in February. Below, Peter writes about the importance of positivity in the workplace:
Wendy has been serving food at the Tangerine offices for over a decade. She is not a Tangerine employee, she works for the food services company we hire to manage our restaurant. But Wendy has been making a difference in our lives at Tangerine, every single day. She remembers everyone, and has a knack for making you feel great. In fact, you’ll likely find us lining up specifically for her cash register. I’m sure Wendy has her tough days, yet you’d never know. For thirteen years, Wendy has brought nothing but kindness, warmth and positivity to our environment.
Then there’s Mr. Ganges. Mr. Ganges is a 70-year-old owner/operator of a small dry cleaning shop in Toronto. He is unwell and has a lot to deal with from behind his counter, but he never complains about it. Every time I drop off or pick up my dry cleaning, Mr. Ganges expresses his gratitude for my business, wants me to be really happy with his work and I’m certain he would be mortified if I were in any way dissatisfied. He is not curing cancer, but he is just as passionate about cleaning a shirt, as he would be about perhaps finding a cure for a disease. It is obvious that he cares in such a deep way about connection, human interaction and servicing his clients.
Similarly, on a recent trip with my family, Janice, the woman who sold us a cup of coffee every morning in the hotel lobby, made a huge difference in our vacation. There was something different about her. She was so engaging, positive, even caring. All she did was pour a cup a coffee every morning but her pleasant and friendly energy impacted our day.
Positivity alone can be fake, but coupled with a layer of passion and pleasantness – you’d feel it in a far more genuine way. You’d then understand how a complete stranger appearing to love seeing you as in the case of Wendy, Mr. Ganges and Janice could leave a long lasting impact.
Positivity, pleasantness and passion make people irresistible. You want to be with them, work with them, have them on your team, buy from them, and follow them.
Of course there is a group of people who naturally possess these traits. But can someone learn to have them? I’d like to think so.
If people truly understood the impact these 3″Ps” would have on their energy and the energy of those they interact with daily, I believe they would prioritize these internal changes. They would do something about them.
I’ve often talked about self-awareness and that is precisely what I believe these three individuals possess. It doesn’t mean they don’t struggle or have bad days, but they learn to rise above them and protect the energy that drives progress forward as opposed to stalling it.
It’s often the simplest things that make the biggest impact. It’s not even optimism, or a glass half full attitude. That is a narrow point of view – it is more of an appreciation and gratitude for what you are given and a responsibility you take on to do better with what you have, for you and those around you, despite the hard realities we may face.
So in the spirit of these wonderful individuals who have and continue to make a difference in my day, I’ll leave you with this: Don’t be sucked into everyone else’s energy. Be the positive person in the room today. You’ll bring everyone up.