Do You Suffer from Toxic Positivity?

What do you do when a world-altering event like a pandemic turns your industry, your company, and your livelihood upside-down? Ultimately, you have two choices:


  1. You get real – i.e. a crystal clear, unemotional, objective reality check; or
  2. You get out.


Sean Kelly, co-founder and CEO of Caroo, formerly known as Snack Nation, chose Door #1: He got real.


They were doing great business delivering snacks to offices, but when the pandemic hit and work-from-home culture became the norm, the need to have snacks at the office suddenly evaporated (or should I say, crumbled?).


Under similar circumstances, many leaders' instinct is to lead with – as he described – a “toxic positivity,” sugar-coating the dire reality so as to sound optimistic and hopeful that they won't all go down with the ship.


But Sean, our guest on this week's Speaking to Influence podcast , went the opposite direction.


Leading with transparency and deliberate vulnerability, he went on a campaign of radical candor with his people, sharing exactly where things stood regarding the chances of staying afloat as things were, and galvanizing people to get on board with his new plan for the company's rebirth.


If people weren't going to offices anymore, Caroo needed to build a new technology platform, products and systems to allow their clients to bring snacks and other care packages directly to the people, nourishing both the individual members and the overall team and corporate cultures.


You can listen to the whole podcast here or watch it on YouTube here .



Then again, pandemic or not, perhaps you've decided that you're at a place in your life when it's time to try Door #2, and “get out.”


If you’re looking for that next big step in your career, stay tuned for another summit, Secrets to Career Success Summit on August 2-11. Hosted by Tara Reinbolt, this is the perfect leadership event to help you push past the obstacles that are holding you back and finally get on the right track.


Tara and I have a great session on the role of communication on the career ladder — don't miss it!. The best part is it’s totally free and you can watch it from anywhere.


Click here to register.




Whether in your current organization or the next one on the horizon, great things are around the corner for you! (Don't forget to drop me a line and tell me what some of YOURS are).