What's Your Headline? - Leadership SHIFT Tip

The old news adage, “If it bleeds, it leads,” is still true today. Hearing the morning headlines about health care uncertainty, North Korea threats, institutional distrust, and stock market dips can feel like a cortisol slap to the face.

Negativity is the secret sauce of cable news. It triggers fear, worry, and anxiety and sucks you in. It’s enough to ruin your day according to positive psychology gurus Shawn Achor and Michelle Gielan

We may not have much power in changing media’s business model beyond our remote control. But we can choose our personal headlines. 

And it starts with your response to, “How you doin?” 

Does it bleed like “My (commute, job, boss, kids, husband) is driving me crazy.” Perhaps it’s today’s favorite headline “I’m busy or stressed.” These are great if you are looking for sympathy, but they don’t help you build a happy tribe. 

If you want to cascade the positive energy of better tomorrows, try leading with, “I’m grateful for...,” “I’m looking forward to...,” “I’m excited and focused on...,” Or maybe, “I’m spectacular.” 

Challenging things happen every day, but they don’t need to be your lead story. Your headlines have more influence on your peloton than CNN, Fox, and MSNBC. So leave the negative news to them. 

This week’s SHIFT Tip recommendation is Plasticity. It’s a great app to track happiness and a better indicator of your culture’s health than employee engagement. I met the innovators behind Plasticity at the World Happiness Summit and hope to bring it to my peloton. 

Have Fun Storming the Castle! That’s a headline worth sharing. 

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