Leaders have charisma to engage people energetically and enthusiastically to follow them. What’s also necessary, indispensable in fact, is a large dose of optimism. Would you want to stand behind someone who was always predicting doom and gloom and whose attitude wasn’t encouraging about you, the future, the organization/company, and their own platform? I didn’t think so.
Leading with optimism gives the leader just the right edge to convince others that they have the capabilities to achieve beyond what was thought possible, exceeding expectations and expanding beliefs.
The optimistic vision they share with their team, customers and supporters, elevates confidence in them, in the dream, project, or mission, and in the future. They inspire others with their enthusiasm and their ability to dream big and envision a better future and usually bring out the best in other people and in themselves.
Optimism also drives personal and collective motivation and commitment and spreads contagiously. When you believe in what’s possible, and even in what was once thought impossible, and now accessible, it carries you through all sorts of setbacks, naysayers, and the inevitable changes that happen. It takes a believer to stand firm against the storm and not waver and be able to silence their own occasional doubts with faith.
It’s important to stress that optimism isn’t about being blinded or always wearing rose-colored glasses. A leader has to sustain a working balance between faith and realism and cannot dismiss what’s going on and must stay current and informed in her industry. Yet, an optimistic leader believes in her ability and in her team’s ability to shift what’s not working, making changes and adjustments when necessary to create something better and more successful.
Optimism isn’t only linked to greater achievement: it propels people into productive action and creates momentum and flow adding to a company’s success because people feel and are more invested. They work harder and add more healthy upbeat energy into the organization and into everything they do on the job. This creates a better working climate and contributes to more complementary interaction among the team members and also favorably affects business and profit.
An environment and corporate culture that promote optimism also opens the doorways to more creativity and innovation. Ideas flow and are exchanged more easily when new ideas and methods aren’t censored and instead are encouraged. This free flow spawns novelty to flourish. Optimism isn’t always what you’re born with. It can be learned and practiced like any other skill to be mastered.
To cultivate optimism, be as curious as a child which gives you the advantage of seeing and interpreting the world with new eyes.
This can often lead to invention and transformation. Questioning what is to find new ways of being and doing are the seeds and pillars of ushering in novelty and the impossible. Ask questions so that you can problem solve and find the solutions that are needed to move you and your team forward.
Be open to seeing opportunities even in unusual or unlikely places. And just as importantly view what some may call failure as the need for more research or information and not final defeat. Practice observing you, your business, your team and the world not just as it is in the now, but also as it can be. By setting your sights on the big picture rather than only the present montage, you can advance others and yourself while also being instrumental in creating a better world.