I care. I care a lot. And it’s sensible for you to care too!
A friend emailed me last week and said:
“2016 doesn’t look like being a good year. Our economy’s facing a crisis. And look what’s happening to the weather! That seems to be in crisis too.”
I would have been demotivated by her pessimistic comments had I not been wearing my “protective armour”!
The Best Leaders Are Optimists
This is how it works, isn’t it?
- The best leaders are influential.
- To influence they need to feel motivated and to motivate.
- To feel motivated and to motivate they need to be optimistic.
Optimism is an emotional competence. It’s an essential ingredient of impressive innovation, superior productivity, functional relationships—and motivational leadership.
Warren Bennis (a hugely respected pioneer of contemporary leadership) said,
“Every exemplary leader that I have met has what seems to be an unwarranted degree of optimism—and that helps generate the energy and commitment necessary to achieve results.”
“I don’t think we stand much chance of meeting this end-of-week deadline. We’ve struggled to do it every time. This will probably be another deadline we miss. I guess you need to give it a go and see what you can do.”
“I know this deadline is pretty tough—and I think we can do it. Let’s think about what could be adjusted so that we meet the end-of-week deadline. I think we can make it happen. Are you up for going for it?”
Think About Leader A’s Probable Impact—As Compared To Leader B’s
I wouldn’t have needed to wear my “protective armour” if my pessimistic “Leader A” friend had said:
“I’m appreciating some of the great things that have happened in my 2016 so far.
I think there’s more good stuff around the corner too. And I’m loving having such
a long, warm autumn.”
Let’s remember that the way you are as a leader has an enormous impact on how your team members feel.
Your Action Steps
Think about your end game. Think about you having:
- A more competitive advantage in your career
- Healthier relationships (both with others and in your relationship with you)
- Enhanced physical and mental health
- And, today’s mainstream topic, more influenceable, motivated team members?
Most of us can spruce up our demeanour somewhere/sometime/someplace:
Recall a time when your optimism helped you achieve your targeted result…
- You rehearsed success
- You saw the setback as temporary
- You were hopeful, proactive and persistent.
And then, recall a time when your pessimism got too much of your mental airtime
- You doubted a successful outcome
- Your mental picture was about failure
- You saw the problem as permanent and unable to be conquered.
optimism—pessimism continuum to negatively impact your outcomes?
“There’s not a day goes by when I don’t hear (Carolyn’s) voice in the back of my head somewhere,
picking up on an opportunity to use the skills we worked on during my coaching.”
— Infrastructure & Operations Manager, manufacturing company
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carolyn Stevens has worked with leaders for more than 25-years—hundreds of them.
She’s supported leader after leader (including those who previously struggled to confront the difficult, let alone persuasively deal with the it) flourish—and become confident, courageous and impressively influential.
Carolyn is authentic and results-oriented. She draws on an eclectic array of approaches, tools and techniques to suit the situation.