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Lead With Optimism

Say no to pessimism.

“No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.” –Helen Keller

Optimism is a crucial attitude to develop as a leader. When leading others, your belief in the outcome generates enthusiasm, conviction and courage in your team. I’m not referring to blind optimism; that’s a dangerous place to linger. Once you as a leader study the possibilities, do your homework and establish a viable and workable well-conceived plan, now comes the time to rally others to it.

You are a seer-and have the ability to shift impossible thinking to strong probability. That kind of energy is transformative and creates a team that believes they have the ability to attain what was once considered unattainable. With that prevailing belief, they can go after it.

I’m reminded of a story about Henry Ford that I heard many years ago.

It was pertaining to attitude and possibility thinking. Ford approached his engineers and asked them to build a V-8 engine.  There wasn’t one like it anywhere at that time. His engineers were skeptical and pessimistic at first and told him outright that it was impossible and couldn’t be done. That did not deter Ford. He insisted that they build him a V-8 engine despite the overt disbelief and naysayers among his employees. His unwavering optimism and belief turned the tide. After failed attempts to convince him otherwise, they finally set to the task and produced what was once deemed impossible!

Innovation is a necessary component of successful businesses these days and encompasses openness to possibility thinking, generating new ideas and taking risks.  Here are some tools that successful entrepreneurs have to help them achieve and build an optimistic team.

1.   Develop an Environment of Optimism:

 Build high expectations for people to succeed with encouragement and enthusiasm. Embrace the attitude of possibility thinking and allow others to dream and share their newly formed views. Often, they can lead to new innovations and products.

2.   Be a Forward Thinker:

Set the tone for high quality outcomes and shared communication among your team members. View every experience as a real opportunity for potential growth for you and the team. Create open dialogue for discussion and evaluation.

3.    Be Equipped and Prepared:

 Although you adhere to strong positivism in things working out, it’s sensible and characteristic of strong leadership to be prepared and ready for setbacks, conflicts, and problems that can arise along the way. View and disseminate the idea among your company that setbacks and challenges can strengthen the organization and the team and can be true learning opportunities for everyone. Within them may reside benefits or lessons not yet considered. They often lead to improvements and new avenues of development.

With optimism and preparation as a leader, you can see the positive side of situations, maximize the possibilities, and be ready for the unexpected.

Read more posts by Jo Anne White, Ph.D., international speaker. Dr. White is a blogger for JenningsWire.