Optimism isn’t just a trait that leaders need to lead during difficult times; it’s also an important tool they can use to engage and inspire their employees on the days when everything seems to be going well. It’s the ability to find positivity in the midst of a negative situation, and it allows employees to take their focus off of the issue at hand and refocus it onto the positive aspects of working at your company, such as morale and customer service. This creates a positive company culture that ultimately leads to greater customer satisfaction.
Optimistic leaders are resilient. If you don’t believe something is going to work out, it won’t. Nothing happens if you don’t try. You need optimism for engagement. According to business writer and author of Work Rules! by Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of People Operations at Google: People always remember how they felt; they rarely remember exactly what you said or did. It’s important that leaders keep people engaged so they feel good about their job—and optimistic employees are more likely to take chances and come up with innovative ideas. That translates into better products, services and ultimately sales. Your customers will be happier—and feel better served—by an optimistic leader who keeps things upbeat and instills confidence in those around them. Leaders have a responsibility to set culture. They create their company’s culture, either intentionally or unintentionally.
When It Comes to Success, Sometimes Things Don’t Work Out—But That’s Okay: It’s important to let go of your need for things to turn out exactly as you had originally planned. You can control what you do and how you act, but not everything that happens around you. So be grateful when times are good and look on the bright side when they aren’t; it will keep you flexible, present, and aware enough to respond in real time to any given situation.
In an uncertain environment, employees look to their leaders for guidance. By being adaptable and optimistic during times of change, leaders can keep culture fresh and employees motivated. Here’s how you can be more adaptive in your leadership style . If you are interested in learning more about Leadership Styles, I encourage you to check out my friend, Paul Grau’s Run to your Challenges Podcast Here
Those who are adaptable during times of change are able to foster a positive company culture . When employees see their leaders as optimistic, engaged and committed, they’re more likely to feel inspired and take ownership of their roles. In turn, when your team feels valued and has a sense of purpose in their work, you’ll experience better overall performance. To dive a little deeper, check out this article about Why Determination always Beats Indignation
A company culture is defined by its ability to overcome hardships. Every employee in your company will have to deal with some form of hardship in their life. How you react to that hardship will directly affect how your employees react. Leading with optimism can create a positive atmosphere within your team, it gives your team hope during hard times and lets them know that they are always supported by leadership.
One of my favorite leadership quotes comes from Henry Ford: If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get along with people. On top of being able to cultivate and develop other leaders in your organization, you must be someone whom people want to follow. Believe that everyone on your team can become an asset, and encourage them to lead when they have ideas. Inspire optimism, and you’ll create a positive work environment where employees can excel. When done correctly team members will find themselves leading with optimism informally.
Creating an open workplace is one of many ways leaders can lead optimistically. Open workplaces promote collaboration and transparency, which can strengthen relationships and make a workplace more welcoming to all types of people. Being able to openly discuss company challenges allows for alternative problem-solving approaches that may not have been considered before, further driving innovation in your organization. Employee engagement will also increase as people feel like they’re a part of something bigger than themselves, especially if you allow for open dialogue about how employees perceive their work environment.
In one of his many books on innovation, The Art of Innovation, author Tom Kelley says, Change is like an earthquake. If you don’t design your organization to be flexible and resilient enough to deal with that stress, it will crack under pressure. The old models and assumptions won’t work anymore. That’s when great opportunities arise for leaders who can step back and ask different questions: What do we really have? Who are our real customers? What do they really need? How can we deliver better value in new ways? How might these changing conditions open up new possibilities for us, if only we look at them differently? When everyone else is fighting fires or running from crisis to crisis, how do you make time to plan for – and act on – truly bold ideas? How does Google stay so nimble in a fast-changing industry such as search and advertising?
By leading with optimsm.