Do you tend to be optimistic or pessimistic? Plenty of each philosophy are out there, so you’re in good company either way. Taking a deeper look, though, have you thought about the benefit of having an optimistic outlook as a leader?
One of the key benefits to optimism is feeling confident that you can accomplish whatever crosses your path. If it’s something totally new, you know that you have the resources to figure out the path. You look at life from a positive perspective and it takes more than a few jabs to knock you off your game.
Optimists also typically see the world from the perspective of abundance, not lack. They perceive opportunity for anyone who wants to partake in something. It doesn’t occur to them that there isn’t enough to go around.
Abundant thinking makes a great difference in the workplace. Leaders with a mindset of abundance offer new and different initiatives to their people. They don’t focus on what could go wrong. Instead, they think about the possibilities that emerge when their employees successfully complete the new initiatives.
I know the pessimists reading this have already said, “Yeah, but….” several times in the past few paragraphs. That’s fine. There’s room for both perspectives in the workplace, however, optimistic leaders may provide a greater sense of possibilities for their people.
Our people want to be inspired, not dissed. They gain more confidence and a higher sense of self when they are tasked with something difficult that their leader feels they can accomplish.
People want to be challenged and successful. They relish the opportunity to move into unknown territory even if initially it seems a little daunting to them.
We need to give our people the opportunity to succeed, and not assume that they’re going to screw up the next assignment you give them.