Pessimists don't change the world. Throughout history, we see that it's the optimists, the believers, the dreamers, the
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,
Encourage instead of
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
When you lead with optimism and share positive energy with others, you will transform the negativity that too often sabotages teams and organizations.