perpetual optimism is a force multiplier

I think that General Powell’s 13th and final rule is my favorite, yet one of the most difficult ones to carry out.  Come on, “Perpetual optimism” are you kidding?  Obviously Colin was never involved in production in the local church.

Given the reality that it is very easy for most production people to descend into cynicism and pessimism and any other negative –ism you can think of, nothing could be more true that optimism can change most any situation.  So how can I move myself and my team mates toward perpetual optimism being more the norm?

Complain up

In the movie “Saving Private Ryan”, the small group of soldiers sent to save Private Ryan are trying to get their captain to complain about how stupid their mission is.  Tom Hanks character explains to the men that he doesn’t complain down, only up…that’s just the way things work.  If the captain had given in and moaned and groaned with the rest of this men, they would all have been paralyzed in achieving their objective.

How are you at listening to complaining without joining in?

Speed of the Leader, speed of the team. 

This is one of those overused phrases where I work, yet it is uber-true.  Your team, whether staff or volunteer are looking to you.  They are complaining to you, to see how you are going to respond.  What do you think of the situation?  What is your perspective?  Do you think this plan is as idiotic as the rest of us?

They don’t really know they are doing it, but they are being used to set a trap for you.  They are trying to get you to agree with them, to validate their feelings.  They want someone to help justify their negativity.

What they really need is someone to rise above the situation and provide necessary optimism.  As a leader, you should have a large and wider perspective on why things are playing out in a certain way, and it is your job to point people towards the glass being half full, not half empty.

In my everyday life, I am in need of vision.

I need to be called to something greater…to be lifted up past my complaints.

The people you lead need this too.

As their leader, if you don’t give it to them, who will?

photo by: aturkus