The other reason is that it suggests something that isn’t always talked about . . . but that I will talk about below.
“A mother should give her children a superabundance of enthusiasm, that after they have lost all they are sure to lose in mixing with the world, enough may still remain to prompt and support them through great actions.”
– Julius C. Hare, writer
Questions to Ponder
- Did my parents equip me with that enthusiasm?
- Am I giving that enthusiasm to my kids, coworkers and team members?
- Regardless of my first two answers, what could I do today to give others enthusiasm?
- The best first step is to be more enthusiastic.
- Look for things to encourage, admire and support in others.
- Help people see what is going well, not just the obstacles.
- Decide to share your enthusiasm with others every day.
Hare may have written the words above about mothers. But it isn’t just about moms, or even parenting. Read it again, with my changes . . . “A leader should give their team members a superabundance of enthusiasm, that after they have lost all they are sure to lose in mixing with the world (including other teams, vendors and customers), enough may still remain to prompt and support them through great actions.”
We look to our parents for clues about how to act (here’s a TV commercial that highlights this fact) , and since we spend so much time with them during impressionable ages, Hare’s point is important.
As a leader, you aren’t a parent, but people, in some ways, consciously or otherwise, look to you for clues too. They want to know what you are looking for, what will help them be successful, and so they watch.
Most would agree that enthusiasm is contagious – and when you spread it as a leader, for the reasons just stated, it is especially powerful. This means that your optimism, caring, encouragement, and support makes a difference – likely a bigger one than you or others might even acknowledge. It also must be noted that, while enthusiasm is contagious, so is it’s opposite, so you must be careful what you are spreading.
The second part of the quotation talks about providing enough enthusiasm to overcome the influences of the outside world. Your people are subject to those forces too – so what you do for people provides a buffer and an antibiotic for the negative, disabling, and debilitating contagions they will encounter.
The world is spreading the anti-enthusiasm. If you want those around you well equipped, take your place as a carrier and spreader of something positive. Everyone will benefit.