When it comes to business, we are often so focused on mitigating the bad that we forget about facilitating the good. Managers that lead with an optimistic mindset help create a more inclusive and collaborative environment, which means higher efficiency, happier teams, and better end-products. Do you lead with optimism?
Creating an environment of positivity on the construction site may seem like an impossible goal. However, optimistic leaders – or those who inspire confidence and hopefulness – tend to have more engaged teams, less turnover, and higher revenues.
Recessions, industry collapse, global unrest, and large mergers and acquisitions can have leaders spending more time focusing on ways to mitigate risk than on building an optimistic work environment. This can lead to tension that slowly disperses throughout an organization.
Leading with optimism shifts the way you look at potential risks or problems. It assumes that every challenge has a solution. It also shifts your leadership mindset so that you better leverage your colleagues and staff, instead of trying to do everything yourself.
This type of leadership understands that everyone has different ways of thinking, approaching issues, and communicating. Learning the best way to communicate and discuss challenges and ideas with your individual team members allows you to tap into their unique abilities. This also ensures that everyone feels heard and respected, giving them a feeling of optimism in their work.
There are three key principles to leading with optimism:
- Have a servant attitude – In business and life, approaching people and situations as a servant will dramatically impact how others see and relate to you. Cultivating a “We” approach in yourself and your team fosters a service mindset. It also creates a level playing field for all. This will not only boost optimism and engagement, but also productivity and innovation.
- Accept imperfections – Perfection is unattainable. Expecting complete perfection from yourself or others will sap motivation and leave you frustrated. It will also prevent your team from coming up with the next great innovation or idea. Instead of striving for perfection, look for ways to learn from mistakes and “fail forward.”
- Be open to new ideas – Sometimes the best way to tackle an issue is to crowdsource a resolution. Brainstorming with friends and colleagues can bring new light a potential solution. The key is to be open to any and all ideas, no matter who proposes it or how outlandish it may seem at the time.
Leading with optimism is a mindset shift that allows you to look at each challenge as a puzzle that can be solved. It fosters an environment that empowers everyone to be an active participant in solving the puzzle, which leads to a more positive and inclusive culture, greater retention of top talent, and increased productivity and innovation.