Monday Morning Motivator

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The Losada Line

This week we share a powerful message from ex-NHLer and author, Ryan Walter. If you have never heard of the Losada Line you will want to understand it and implement into your personal and professional life.

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Do you know the one-thing that can IMPROVE your team, your family and yourself?  

Over my many seasons in professional sport, business and training/speaking, I have found that a major common denominator exhibited by extraordinary people and performers is their ability to sustain high levels of positive ENERGY.

I came across one of these people when I was playing for the Montreal Canadiens. This player did not have the most skill with the puck, nor was he the best skater on the team (but then neither was I), but the ENERGY that he brought to our dressing room was incredible. Upbeat and positive, he was full of: “I’m going to do this” and “we’re going to do that" enthusiasm. Because he had a little less talent, I am not sure that this player would have even made our team if not for the positive energy he exhibited. He not only made our team and won the coveted Stanley Cup, he also went on to become an NHL captain.

So, how do you and I play our BEST GAME (on or off the ice) with the talent and skills we possess?  

I have been re-reading the must-read book, POSITIVITY. Author Barbara Fredrickson’s research really confirms what I have observed in the professional sport and business worlds, and across our training with companies, associations and teams. It is positive energy that maximizes our personal and cultural opportunity to be our very best. Fredrickson leans heavily on the complementary scientific research of Marcial Losada and John Gottman, two accomplished scientists in two different fields of study.

After years of research, Marcial Losada discovered an incredibly important number that I ask all of my clients to memorize: 2.9013.  

2.9013 is the Losada line – the repetition will help you remember it. Cultures flourish or diminish according to their position above or below this invisible line that delineates the ratio of positive to negative emotions (P/N line). If teams generate more than 2.9013 positive feelings, emotions or interactions to 1 negative feeling, emotion or interaction, these teams develop the positive energy needed to feel good about themselves and begin to flourish. A ratio of 5 Positives to every Negative becomes a culture that everyone wants to be part of.

On the other hand, if a team moves below that Losada line of 2.9013 positives to every negative, its culture deteriorates. At 0.73 to 1, the team culture destructs.

Dr. Gottman discovered the same results in the world of marriage research! Gottman claims that he can predict divorce with 90% accuracy by tabulating the P/N ratio of the couple he is observing. According to Dr. Gottman, marriages that fail exhibit a 1.25 negative to 1 positive ratio while the couple is in the midst of a disagreement. Partners in happy, flourishing marriages still manage to utter 5 positives for every negative while in a disagreement, and display a 20 to 1 ratio of positives to negatives when in normal conversation.

Here’s what I love about the book, Positivity, and the philosophy that these amazing researchers are recommending… it works! Over my years on a variety of teams, I can confirm that when our teams had come together, built some positive feeling or emotions and enacted better P/N ratios, we definitely generated higher, sustainable performance.

In Positivity, Barbara Fredrickson delivers an additional astounding piece of information and a very useful tool.  

1-She identifies that more than 80% of American adults fall short of Positivity's 3-to-1 prescription (and the Losada line).

2- Check out the highly relevant tool on her website ( which allows you to test your P/N ratio. We recommend that you start by taking the personal test.

Whether you read Positivity or not (and I am recommending that you do), I encourage you to take the practical step of increasing your P/N interactions to 3 to 1 or higher.

As always, however, the choice to change is… yours!

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Be blessed this week.


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Quote of the Week

Your future is created by what you do today not tomorrow.


Word of the Week

Slapdash (slap-dash) : haphazard or shoddy

eg : Slapdash editing had an effect on the sales of the magazine.


Proverb of the Week

Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.

(Proverbs 17 verse 28 The Bible) 


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