Setting Organizational Attitude and Tone

Circumstances don’t determine the atmosphere and tone of organizations, leaders do.

Look around your office or leadership team. Is the tone positive or negative? Now, look at yourself. How are you perceived?

Organizations reflect leadership.

Thursday, I reconnected with Shirzad Chamine, author of, Positive Intelligence. He reminded me that our “Sage” is a joyful, curious, explorer. I started thinking about fearful versus confident leadership.

Fearful vs. Confident:

Fearful leaders withdraw, limit, control, manipulate, and pressure others. Fearful leaders respond to challenges, opportunities, and problems pessimistically.

Confidence fuels optimism; fear fuels pessimism.

Tough circumstances test everyone, especially leaders. Hand-wringers set negative tones. On the other hand, denying tough times never inspires.

Optimism:

Leadership-optimism isn’t pretending everything’s okay. Confident leaders connect, inspire, and unleash. They explore with curiosity.

Inspirational leaders face tough times
with curiosity, exploration, joy, and confidence.

Realistic:

Leadership-attitude won’t solve tough times. It is, however, the way leaders establish tone and atmosphere in collaborative environments during challenging situations. Positive environments are built on positive attitudes, speech, and behaviors.

(Check out Soren Kaplan’s book, Leapfrogging, for more on optimism.)

What’s the difference between foolish and realistic optimism?

How can leaders set positive tones in organizations?