A positive mental attitude or just “being positive” is often cited as an important attribute of successful leaders and people. Here’s what a famous achiever, who overcame more than you or I will ever fathom had to say about it:
“No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.”
– Helen Keller
Questions to Ponder
- Do I consider myself a pessimist or an optimist?
- What would others say?
- Ask others for feedback about how they perceive your attitude most of the time.
- Ask them how your attitude (positive or negative) impacts them.
- If the answer isn’t what you wish it were, further ask for examples of times when your attitude could be improved.
- Take action to think about the present and future in a more optimistic, positive way.
It is likely your goals and aspirations, both personally and as a leader, don’t involve exploring the heavens or the earth, but that doesn’t matter. Think about the times in your life when you were achieving at your best, and excelling in your work. What was your attitude like at those times?
Positive attitude often gets a bad rap because people say that thinking positively isn’t enough (which is completely true). However, positive thinking will help you achieve anything better than negative thinking will.
While this is important for us as individuals, as leaders, like compound interest, our attitude grows daily and person by person. If you don’t see the attitude in your office or on your team that you wish existed, look in the mirror first. Start with yourself, by changing your outlook and thinking.