critical realism

When Positive Thinking Hurts You

Naive Optimism and a Better Alternative
Great Leadership Lessons, Note 28

Pop Leadership!
When simplistic tag lines become wisdom, then those who teach them play the fool. Shame on them and on those who buy in to the jargon.

There is a lot of pop leadership trite thrown around. What makes it a challenge is that in most cases, it has some basis in truth, but it takes the PIECE of reality and turns it into the WHOLE of reality. A useful principle becomes an unchallengeable dogma. Here are two of those SLOGANS you hear all the time.

When you are a part of an organization that is in decline, being positive when things are falling apart - that is not leadership - that is naive, ruinous foolishness. Don't let a cute poster saying tell you otherwise. 

Vital Optimism


I think I first heard the phrase VITAL OPTIMISM when Gordon MacDonald spoke at one of the Leadership  Summits of Living Word Community Church. That phrase has stayed with me ever since. In part - because I am not naturally wired for this. I can easily default to a "Glass is Half Empty" kind of person. It is easy for me to see what is wrong in the world. On the plus side, this is partly since I am a visionary who dreams of things that can be much better than they are. Still . . . Vital Optimism is not my strong suit.

Yet, Vital Optimism is part of the work of creating emotionally healthy workplaces of RESONANCE. Optimism, confidence, encouragement, affirmation, warmth, belief, hope, joy - all this is part of the Vital Optimism Mindset. It is so much better to be around these people and it is so much better for you to be this kind of leader.

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