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Positive Leadership: A valuable strategy that can transform bosses into trustful leaders

Artcile by Julia Vilaça
@julialsvilaca @fashinnovation

Guiding and motivating a team are not easy tasks. Especially on a daily-base routine where we have to deal with issues, crises and difficulties. But, there’s something that can change your relationship with your team: positive leadership.

Positive leadership is a very effective form of management for a company to stand out, achieve its goals, be productive and achieve excellence in its results. After all, leading a team goes far beyond delegating tasks, managing employees’ time and analyzing performance.

April Sabral is not only the Founder and CEO of retailu, but also a published author. She wrote The Positive Effect, a book that recalls her steps to achieve success.

We spoke with April and, in this article, we share with you the highlights of our conver­sation. Keep reading!


A leader has great responsibilities and among the main ones are to command, inspire, have a holistic vision and stimulate their team. Positive leadership is a new management model that seeks to value the strengths of employees, encourage the development of their skills and enhance the organization’s results.

It has become essential for the efficiency of teamwork, as it improves its performance and the engagement between individuals. This type of leadership is based on psycholo­gy, that is, on human behavior.

As the name implies, it focuses on positive emotions to achieve expected goals and promote professional growth. This awakens in the worker a great motivation to be better every day, increasing productivity and the quality of services.

According to April Sabral, a positive leader is “able to ignite the positive emotions of their team, when this happens employees want to help the company succeed.” She affirms that to ignite positive emotions the team requires three things from their leader. They are:

Acceptance: they need to feel that their lead­er supports, sees and hears them without judging; Creating: they need their leader to take responsibility for what they are creating, thinking and saying. Positive thinking and words create a good environment. What their leader speaks out loud, creates the culture – good or bad.

Teaching: the leader must mentor and coach their team to be better at their job, this supports career growth and development.

“If leaders can master this, their team will feel great about working for them”, she states.


Positive leadership values a good organizational climate, in which people maintain a healthy and pleasant relationship. This contributes signifi­cantly to team productivity, engagement and motivation.

Therefore, to practice this type of leadership and achieve a good performance of activities, it is essential to establish trust, recognition, mutual respect, joy and gratitude in the daily work.


As well as the organizational climate, the quality of relationships between employees directly affects productivity and team performance. Therefore, another outstanding characteristic of positive leadership is the construction and cultivation of positive relationships based on collaboration and respect.


Another characteristic of positive leadership is good communication. Without this, it is very diffi­cult to promote a pleasant organizational climate and establish good interpersonal relationships.

A positive leader needs to know how to convey information important to team performance. This includes enhancing each employee’s strengths and setting the organization’s goals and objec­tives.


Positive leadership is also about helping em­ployees build positive meaning at work. This is because the perception they have greatly affected the productivity, motivation, satisfaction and performance of the team.

Therefore, for the company to achieve its goals, retain the best talent and achieve excellence in its results, it is crucial that this perception is positive.


In traditional leadership, we commonly have bosses – instead of leaders.

According to April Sabral, there is quite a differ­ence between the two of them. She stated that “a boss manages people, and it is a title. A leader inspires and coaches people, it’s a way of being.” A leader shows the team they care by approaching a situation carefully. She continues, “leaders are not afraid of empowering their teams to take ownership. A boss would only want to know what and how the task got completed. A leader wants to learn from others.”

The importance of a positive leader can not be underestimated. “We have all had a bad boss, and we know how that feels. It can mess with your mental psyche, you can doubt yourself, and lose confidence. On the other hand, a positive leader builds confidence and inspires those around them. Energy is contagious, and the better energy is the better everyone feels. To add to this, a posi­tive leader also means they are competent at their job, this means they can teach, train and coach to what’s expected, and set clear expectations. When a leader understands their impact directly impacts the employees and results, they become more aware of how they act”, April affirms.


April Sabral and her book “The Positive Effect”

Besides running retailu, April Sabral also gives lectures and has a book on positive leadership. In “The Positive Effect” the woman entrepreneur recalls the steps she took to achieve success, including how to:

Leverage the principles of accepting, creating, and teaching (A.C.T.) to lead with awareness;

Recognize the value that retail employees provide an organization;

Promote care and empathy throughout an orga­nization;

Cultivate a positive attitude during tough times.

She created the book because she wanted to share her leadership methodology, after leading retail teams for over three decades. “I thought it was important to share how I did it, and create a leadership book specifically about retail. There are many books about leadership or retail trends but not many about how to lead stores. Now is the time when positive leadership is necessarily com­ing out of the pandemic. I wanted our industry to have a book they could relate to”, she affirms.


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