Leaders can turn around the worst situations with a little alchemy. No, it isn’t always easy to do. But when circumstances are challenging and you feel tugged into the abyss of negativity, you have a choice. You can either go towards the abyss or reverse the direction.
Effective leaders know how to course-correct, that is, to turn troublesome situations into productive and satisfying scenarios. Not only do they avoid the defeatist mentality; they consciously reverse the situation and make it as successful as possible.
Chances are high that you have at least one pessimist on your team for whom the end of the world is always around the corner. Although these colleagues are not typically swayed to the opposite demeanor, you can be effective if you make the situation victorious, leaving the naysayer to make a choice about which attitude to wear.
People who consistently expect and accept defeat aren’t ones who will move your organization forward (although their skills may be useful in their current jobs). A “smart defeatist” may seem like an oxymoron, but they exist. Be wary of how this person influences other team members.
And this is where your leadership skills go into action. This is not about leaders being positive instead of negative or optimistic versus pessimistic. The ability to turn defeat into victory involves reversing tactics and undoing the negative energy that can clutter and mask the real situation. Get good at this, and it will serve you well.
If done consistently, it also provides an ongoing example that team members can follow and model. Over time, it can subtly move your team towards a more creative and innovative mindset. Rather than accepting defeat, they consider victory.
And that makes this exercise a worthy goal.
Have a great day!