Today I discovered a hard truth. Today I discovered the power of optimism. Rather I discovered the absence of optimism. 😟
The day was progressing normally, to say the least. I was drinking some delicious coffee ☕ and clicking away at the keyboard. Some hard conversations came up at work. Most others around me were taking a negative outlook. I normally opt for the optimistic viewpoint, but today I was feeling tired of being "that guy". So I leaned into a more pessimistic view.
The first topic turned into 2, 3 and many more topics all focused around the first topic which fed the negativity. As the day progressed I noticed that others had started to lean into this same view. Before long, I found myself surrounded by a fast-growing culture of negativity. Many people poking fun about how bad the situation was. Many people assuming that everything is going to catch on fire and burn 🔥. This culture had seemed harmless at first glance. It was funny to laugh about how bad things were shaping up to be. Then I realized the truth.
The fun we were having and the jokes we were making, meant that we started drifting away from our goals. We started to watch the shore shrink into the distance. We were laughing about how we were going to be shipwrecked. (Not that dramatic, just keeping with the metaphor 😅) I went home feeling disappointed, down, and honestly a little hopeless. I would imagine that most of the team did as well.
Optimism is like a light. Much like a lighthouse (Plug the awesome photo by Johannes Above). I realized that even in the storm 🌩. Even when the ship is being tossed back and forth in the waves 🌊. That Optimism provides hope. A Hope that we can endure the storm and make it out the other side. The only way to avoid dashing the ship (Or the team rather) on the rocks, is to focus on optimism.
As humans and especially as leaders, we need to be the lighthouse. I think that sometimes we as leaders lose sight of the fact that others are standing and looking at us. They are looking for direction, they are looking for hope. We need to be leaders that are firmly planted on the side of the ocean being the guiding light. It is easy to be the lighthouse when the ocean is calm and the sun is out. However, being a true leader means that when the storm comes, you stand on the edge, reminding the team that this too shall pass and that we will find it back to shore again.
Being a leader is hard. Yet the impact that leadership has is far-reaching. So rather than giving in to the infestation that is pessimism, stand at the shore and be a light for your team to remember why they put in hundreds of hours of work for you and for the organization. 🎯
Not feeling like that leader?
We can always talk! My Zoom Room is always open 😊
Read a book. There are people that are SO SMART on these topics. Authors like, Brene Brown, Adam Grant, Bob Goff, and so many others
Give yourself grace. Being a leader is tough. If you do it right, you will grow more from it than your team will 🌱