As a leader, I have often been asked, “What keeps you up at night?” It’s a good question, but I prefer to be asked, “What gets you up in the morning?”
The first question draws up concerns and doubt, while the second centers around motivations and optimism.
I’ve always been a “glass half full” guy and might even be considered a little too optimistic at times. But it has worked pretty well so far, and I think it motivates others to follow the lead.
I’m not suggesting that you need to be an eternal optimist to be an effective leader. In fact, it can be helpful when there is another view.
It seems like a person is either naturally optimistic, or not. But it does impact the way you make decisions. So, how do you stay positive, even when it’s hard?
- Consider the worst-case scenario.
That may sound counterintuitive and quite surprising coming from an optimist. But, in my experience, things are never as bad as they seem (although they may not be as good as they look either). When you understand the worst case scenario, you can temper expectations and ultimately evaluate what you can do. Having a plan boosts optimism.
- Put an end on the circumstance.
This enables you to see the light at the end of what may feel like a long tunnel. A timeline shifts our mentality. It’s easier to navigate through situations when we know the end is in sight. Effective leaders seek to identify deadlines and make decisions to get to the end of the tunnel faster.
- Look for opportunity.
Challenges always bring opportunities. Maybe you think that’s just my optimism talking, but I have experienced a number of business challenges over the years that have helped make us better leaders and a better company. We tend to learn the most when we are being tested. Although it’s sometimes hard to see the upside, I can think of many good examples that have come out of circumstances that aren’t so good.
A positive attitude can change a room, a plan or the trajectory of your organization. It leads to followership and creates momentum. People thrive off motivation as it defeats doubt and projects confidence. Let optimism be the spirit of your organization and see where it takes you….