One Question Away From Optimism

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You can’t lead if you aren’t dissatisfied. Every new beginning begins with dissatisfaction. If the present is satisfactory, you have nowhere to go. A preferred future stands on an un-preferred present.

Dissatisfaction is easy, optimism is necessary.

Seeing the light dimly:

Things come together at the strangest times. During dinner with the CFO of a nationally known and recognized organization, it clicked for me. We were eating tuna at an outside table and I was listening. I don’t remember what he said but what I saw is still with me.

His suit and tie magnified his already military posture. He didn’t smile a lot. He didn’t frown much either. His posture, appearance, and accounting background made me anticipate a dark-cloud conversation.

While we talked problems and challenges, his quiet optimism peaked through. Seeing it back then is still changing me now.

He never minimized problems. But, he always expressed confidence things could be improved. His ability to see problems combined with confidence makes him a leader that changes people. He doesn’t know it, but he changed me.

Negatives to positives:

You’re constantly confronted with negatives. Leaders, however, never get stuck in negatives. You’ll never be great and negative at the same time. Thursday, over coffee, a successful business man told me his secret. “I always ask, ‘How can we turn negatives into positives?’” Interestingly, he doesn’t smile or frown much either.


“We” is necessary. Don’t think you need all the answers. All you need is the confidence you can find a solution.

How can leaders use dissatisfaction rather than getting stuck in it?

How do you turn negatives into positives?


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