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Negativism And Leadership

I was recently accused of being negative. Well, I admit to sometimes expressing a negative opinion or idea. However, I don’t consider that indicates that I am a negative person. Sometimes a negative can have a positive result.

For example, a negative statement can create thoughtful debate. It can act as a counterbalance to wild and unrealistic optimism. If a person or organization only sees the positive, then it is likely that person or organization will get into some very negative results.

I agree that one should always look for the good in another person. However, being blind to the bad traits can lead to disaster. Certainly, a positive outlook for a new or modified business venture is a good thing, but only to the degree that one remains cognizant of the downside potential.

So, is negativism a good thing? I believe it is so long as it serves a purpose and is not allowed to dominate. Uncontrolled negativism will depress an individual and stunt business growth. So, as the saying goes, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater”. There is something to be said for being a contrarian, either positive or negative.

A strong leader must always strive to strike a thoughtful balance between the positive and the negative.

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Ken Vincent
Ken Vincenthttp://sbpra.com/KennethVincent/
KEN is a 46 year veteran hotelier and entrepreneur. Formerly owned two hotels, an advertising agency, a wholesale tour company, a POS company, a leasing company, and a hotel management company. The hotels included chain owned, franchises, and independents. They ranged in type from small luxury inns, to limited service properties, to large convention hotels and resorts. After retiring he authored a book, “So Many Hotels, So Little Time” in which he relates what life is like behind the scenes for a hotel manager. Ken operated more that 100 hotels and resorts in the US and Caribbean and formed eight companies. He is a firm believer that senior management should share their knowledge and experience with the next generation of management.

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5 CONVERSATIONS

  1. What does “being negative” really mean? The last time I was told that I was being negative, it was because I disagreed with an estimate for a multi-billion dollar program. I felt the estimate was too low because the underlying assumptions were very “optimistic”.

    Every time I hear that I’m being negative, it was a political silencing tactic. It was a tactic used to quell deeper analysis and deeper discussions done by my stakeholders and my sponsors involving key risks and significant levels of financial investment.

    So I’m “being negative” because I disagree with someone, and that someone can only silence me, only discredit me by saying I’m “being negative”.

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