Positive workplace energy is contagious. All it takes is one person – no matter how high-level – to take the lead. And soon others start following in her enthusiastic wake.

A close friend of mine, Dora, is an executive in the entertainment industry. Her office has its own kitchen – fully equipped with enough staff to feed roughly 200 engineers, designers, producers, and writers during a 90-minute period each afternoon at lunch.

Last week, Dora happened to be walking through the kitchen at the end of the lunch cycle and overheard the head cook yell out, “Awesome job, everyone! We’re getting tighter and tighter. Good work today!”

Inspired by what she witnessed, Dora went back to her desk and wrote a personal email to the head cook, telling her, “You’re a good leader for our kitchen. I loved the way you cheered your team on. It’s inspiring. Keep up the good work!”

The very next day, when Dora walked into the kitchen, the head cook rushed over, gave her a hug, and thanked her for the email.

Appreciating others might seem time-consuming and unnecessary, especially to those leaders who believe people should work hard simply because they get paid to do a job. But those who want the benefit of an inspired, motivated team will take the time to cheer them on.

“Misti, her cheerleading put a smile on my face,” Dora explained. “She unknowingly prompted me to look for opportunities to do the same with my own team.”

Are you seeing and acknowledging the simple greatness all around you every day? When you do, you end up generating even more greatness – simply by noticing it, showing appreciation for it, and inspiring others to live up to it.

Energy is infectious – good or bad. So what kind of vibes are you spreading?

Join the Conversation: How do you inspire positive energy in your workplace? Or encourage others to do so?