I heartily agree that a positive attitude will contribute to superior results, especially when shared by a team. In order for optimism to provide the maximum leverage, it depends upon three critical components:
- The Right Force. For a workgroup, company, or any organizational unit to achieve success depends first and foremost upon engaging the right mix of people. If a group is confronting a particularly sticky problem, or pursuing a complex opportunity, the right force will represent a blend of varied talents and perspectives. As the metaphor goes, some must understand what the trees look like up close in the middle of the forest, some must be able to navigate the edges, and at least one visionary must be able to see the forest for the trees. Engage strategists, tacticians and realists. But never involve naysayers, as they will undermine everything the team seeks to accomplish. No one person can be “up” all the time, but the right force will keep you charged and moving forward.
- A Shared Purpose. Without a clear vision of the desired outcome, a team, however talented individually, will fail to realize its potential. A shared purpose provides a worthy goal for the right force to pursue; it should be compelling and, I believe, honorable.
- Credible Information and Sufficient Resources. These elements provide the fuel for the right force and they continuously feed its optimism. A high performing team needs to maintain its orientation and focus, while being able to adapt as new information comes to light. It's like having Night Vision Goggles in the middle of a dark forest.
Even if a team member may be operating independently in some aspect of the mission, it's likely that others are supporting their efforts in some form or fashion. The reality is that worthwhile pursuits depend upon the contributions of many, whether directly or indirectly.
Where does optimism come from? And how does one get it? It comes from belief and experience, validated and encouraged by reliable support. When perpetual optimism is harnessed efficiently, the results are nothing short of remarkable. So, “may the force be with you” and multiply your efforts.
Enjoy the Journey!