Good Leaders Are Optimists

“It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily. “So it is.” “And freezing.” “Is it?” “Yes,” said Eeyore. “However,” he said, brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.” ― A.A. Milne

The Coronavirus has challenged the will of even the strongest of individuals.  Every day it seems like there is a new headline of doom and political rhetoric that has moved people into questioning everything they hear.

But, if you want to be an effective leader, you need to find a way to show hope and optimism to your team not matter what. Your positive attitude will help motivate others, but it will also improve your health.

 We’ve seen studies that show that optimists are at a 50% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and higher survival rates when fighting cancer.

Optimists also live longer and are healthier.

Showing a positive attitude doesn’t mean you are ignoring reality; it just means that you are focusing on how to do the things that must get done without being paralyzed by fear. Your desire to be a problem solver demonstrates to your team how they might view challenging situations.

If you want to be an optimistic leader, begin by demonstrating it through the words you use to communicate.  Focus on the positive.  Thank colleagues who are focusing on positive things.  Be encouraging.

When you see a colleague dealing with stress, ask them if you can help. Along the way, you might be able to help them see a brighter future.

Optimistic leaders demonstrate that they are not afraid to fail.  Mistakes lead to learning opportunities and not a reason to play the blame game.

Team members feed off the energy of their optimistic boss.  There is open communication and excitement as challenges are faced.

Optimistic leaders don’t live in the past.  How many times have you heard people say, ‘we tried that once, and it failed.’  Or in this period of time, someone might say, ‘What if the Coronavirus shuts us down?”  Looking towards a positive future keeps people focused on the effective end of a project.  Communicate widely that you see good things on the horizon, and others may begin to see it too.

Be a flexible leader.  When new problems arise, don’t panic, look for simple solutions first, and be open-minded to different ideas.

No one is an optimist all of the time.  If you find yourself feeling like the world is closing in on you, look for ways to motivate yourself.  Meditation helps.  Just waking up and feeling grateful for another day may be all that you need.  Think positive thoughts.  Surround yourself with positive people.

Remind yourself and your colleagues of a quote by basketball legend John Wooden, “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.

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