Why is ‘Optimism’ Important in Leadership?
What comes to your mind when you think ‘optimism’? An optimist would say ‘hope’ whereas a pessimist would say ‘wishful thinking’. But optimism in its true sense has a deeper meaning – it’s a quality of the mind. And the good news is that even if you don’t have an optimistic bent of mind, you can always cultivate it. But why would you make that effort? Well, optimism is an asset of successful leadership. Else how would leaders sail through all the storms and tides, and face the challenges of everyday work?
Optimism is about making intelligent choices. An optimistic leader acknowledges both good and bad in most situations, but chooses to focus on the good. An example is your own employees who have both, strengths and weaknesses. An optimistic leader perceives the strengths and helps employees build on them while simultaneously inspiring them to improve upon their weaknesses. That way, employees are inspired to give their individual best.
Optimism also has the power to propel people to take action. Rather than dwelling on obstacles, an optimistic leader focusses on solutions. He/she will typically ask, “What is the best that can be done in the given situation? What are the learnings that can help in the future?”
An optimistic leader might not be successful in all his/her endeavors. But he/she doesn’t give up without a fight and will appraise events objectively. This banishes the fear of failure and drives a culture of confidence and success among the workforce.
An optimistic leader is also open to new ideas and feedback. This helps to collaborate, build relationships and encourages creativity and innovation.
Employees want to follow a leader with a positive attitude. A leader with negative attitude can sap the energy of a workplace, give stress, kill productivity, and create a toxic work environment.
Optimism can be contagious. So be an optimist and see positivity spread through your organization.