Pessimists don't change the world. Throughout history, we see that it's the optimists, the believers, the dreamers, the doers, and the positive leaders who change the world. The good news is, even if you're the biggest pessimist you know, you can learn to change your outlook and that will change your life and make you a much stronger leader.

According to Wayne Baker, research he and Robert Cross conducted shows that "the more you energize people in your workplace, the higher your work performance." Baker says that this occurs because people want to be around you. They'll offer new ideas, information, and opportunities to you before others. The opposite is also true. If you de-energize others, people won't go out of their way to work with or help you.

A Gallup study estimates that negativity costs the economy $250-300 billion a year and affects the morale, performance, and productivity of teams.

Optimism in your company starts with you. If you don't have it, you can't share it. I am not a naturally positive person, but I am proof that you can learn to be positive. I think of myself as a pessimistic optimist. I will always gravitate, naturally, toward the negative. But pessimism is just a state of mind. It's not permanent. You can change it, and you definitely should. I've worked really hard over the years, and it's changed my marriage, my relationship with my children, my life, and my career for the better.

Stop complaining and blaming. If you're complaining, you're not leading. Leaders don't complain. They focus on solutions. They identify problems and look to solve them in order to create a better future for all. Positive leaders don't attack people. They attack problems.

Don't focus on where you are; focus on where you're going. Lead your team with optimism and vision. Regardless of the circumstances, keep pointing others toward a positive future.

Even when Clemson football lost the national championship in 2015, head coach Dabo Swinney believed they would return the following year and kept pointing his team toward a positive future. He didn't see the loss as a challenge. He saw an opportunity to come back and win it the following year — and that's what they did.

Lead with love instead of fear. Fear is draining; love is sustaining. Fear divides; love unites. The key to leading without fear is to provide both love and accountability.

Negative leaders provide a lot of fear and accountability, but no love. If your team knows you love them, they will allow you to challenge them. But love must come first. Former CEO Alan Mulally turned around Ford with both love and accountability. He said you have to “love 'em up,” and you have to hold them accountable to the process, principles, and plan. He was able to save Ford and help the economy with a lot of love and a lot of accountability.

Connect one-on-one. The greatest leaders connect with those they lead. Dave Roberts, manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers, is a great example. One day I witnessed a player walk in and say hello. Dave got up and gave the player a big bear hug for about five seconds — the kind of hug that a dad would give to his son. A few weeks later, while watching the Dodgers play the Nationals in the postseason, I watched in amazement as this player hit home runs in Games 4 and 5 to help the Dodgers advance. It was as if I had a front-row seat to see the impact of what happens when a coach makes the time to pour love and support into one of his players.

Encourage instead of discourage. Positive leaders are also positive communicators in such a way that they make people around them better and feel encouraged instead of hopeless or discouraged. They also spread positive gossip, listen to and welcome new ideas, and give genuine smiles when they speak. Finally, they are great encouragers who uplift the people around them and instill the belief that success is possible.

One of my favorite phrases comes from the original Olympic Dream Team and Detroit Pistons coaches Chuck Daly and Brendan Suhr — shout praise, whisper criticism. Shout praise means recognizing someone in front of their peers, and whisper criticism means coaching them to get better. Both build better people and teams.

When you lead with optimism and share positive energy with others, you will transform the negativity that too often sabotages teams and organizations.

Jon Gordon is author of The Power of Positive Leadership: How and Why Positive Leaders Transform Teams and Organizations and Change the World. www.jongordon.com