“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.” – Oscar Wilde
There are plenty of factors that help determine whether any organization is successful. Things like marketing strategies, operations strategies, the ability to innovate, and so on. All of those topics get a lot of attention – just search for any of them on the internet and you’ll get countless hours of reading material.
And all of those things are important. But there is something else that can elevate or deprecate all of them. I’m talking about your beliefs as the leader. Some people might lump that in with ‘culture’, and that’s not inappropriate. But I’m specifically talking about you, and more specifically how your beliefs are reflected in your behavior and the impact that has on everyone around you.
If you believe that your company isn’t good enough, or that your performance isn’t good enough, or that bad things are going to happen, or any number of negative beliefs, those will come out in your behavior. It’s bad enough that those negative beliefs will drive your own behavior and sabotage whatever it is you personally are trying to accomplish.
What too many leaders fail to keep in mind is that the negative behavior (call it ‘bad attitude’) you display is contagious. Your people will never have a more positive outlook that their leader. If the leader is upset all the time, everyone else will be to. If the leader is complaining all the time, everyone else will complain too. If the leader focuses on every possible negative outcome, everyone else will focus on that too. If your negative outlook wastes your energy and leaves you with too little, it will do the same to everyone else too.
The point is that you have to be a reflection of positive expectations. You have to appear to be enthusiastic about the future. You have to appear to believe that whatever challenges may arise, you expect to conquer them. You cannot appear to doubt your company’s future.
Take some time for self-observation and reflection. What do you really believe about your organization? How are those beliefs being reflected in your behavior? How is that driving everyone else? The people around you will feed off of your energy, good or bad.
Don’t use the excuse I heard from someone last week: “It’s my job to worry about what could go wrong.” No, actually it isn’t. It’s your job to plan for the future, to manage risks, to successfully navigate complex and rapidly changing environments. It is not your job to obsess about everything that could go wrong. Don’t just sit there and worry – act.