Just the other day, someone said to me “That’s very optimistic of you”. Now if you know me, especially in my younger days, I’m much more of a pessimistic person. Even my kids tease me because I’m constantly say “just in case”…(let’s bring your hats/gloves, just in case). I expect the just in case events to happen. I expect things to not go smoothly. So I plan and prepare – even to the point of being over the top.
Now I’m not to the extreme of a dooms day fanatic but you could definitely classify me as more pessimistic than optimistic. So why do I often hear the opposite at work? After thinking about this for a little while, I think it comes down to this. I absolutely still expect bad things will happen at work. I absolutely still plan and prepare. The difference is my role.
At home, I’m the parent (deciding for them and protecting them). At work, I’m the leader (motivating and supporting). In both situations, I know something unexpected will happen. In both situations, I know that we’ll be just fine. In both situations, I’m confident that we would figure out what we need to adapt. However, only at work am I focused on turning the challenge into an opportunity. It still amazes me how this perspective and goal impacts so much including transforming my pessimistic overworking brain into optimism.
Although there is a saying that you should never take your work home, I think this time…I will.
Are you leading with an optimistic outlook?