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Choose Assets Over Deficits

You see what’s bad before you see what’s good.

Kathy Cramer told me our negativity bias invites us to see and respond more intensely to problems than possibilities.

Every time I step back and look at teams and projects, I look for what’s wrong.

I’m always in fix and prevent mode. Research indicates we spend 80% of our time on the alert for what isn’t working. Thankfully, my negative focus is natural. That makes me feel better.

You naturally see what’s wrong.

You teach yourself to maximize what’s right.

I force myself to see what’s working, but it’s like pulling teeth. Kathy Cramer offers alternatives to negativity bias in, “Lead Positive.”


“Asset-based thinking (ABT) means to look at yourself and the world through the eyes of what is working, what strengths are present, and what the potentials are.” – Lead Positive

ABT is more than pie-in-the-sky pretending. It’s a decision to identify and maximize what’s good, right, powerful, and effective.

ABT isn’t ignoring problems. It’s addressing them from an asset orientation rather than deficit.

Birth of Asset-based thinking:

Kathy Cramer was born with a cleft lip and palate. In her own words (2:18):

Asset-based leadership:

Do you believe deficit-based or asset-based thinkers create the future?

It seems obvious that leaders who focus on assets reach higher than those who focus on deficits. Use your assets as a platform for future achievement.

What would change about your leadership if you chose an asset-based approach?

What’s uncomfortable about focusing on assets?

We’re giving away 25 copies of Kathy’s book, “Lead Positive.” Leave a comment on *** yesterday’s post *** to become eligible.

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