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Optimism. I recently did a series of short videos on LinkedIn entitled 13 Reasons Why exploring why every organisation needs to invest in building and sustaining a workforce that is resilient in the face of constant, uncertain, complex, volatile and ambiguous change.
I received positive feedback on the series and was asked to augment it with a series of articles on the same subject. Here you are.
Resilient people are realistic optimists. They believe that things can change for the better. Optimism helps increase resilience by reducing stress.
Realistic optimism believes they will succeed through hard work. They do not see the world through rose-coloured glasses, and just hope that all things will get better. They don’t visualise an easy path to success, they think seriously about possible obstacles and how to overcome them.
Positive and pragmatic
The realistic optimist is positive and pragmatic and just what successful organisations need to get ahead, and stay ahead of the game.
While they believe that things can change for the better, they also recognise that effort is involved, and they are prepared to put in the time and effort needed to succeed.
They know they can shoot for the stars but they will not lose sight of the ground.
They can make a real difference.
An organisation full of pessimists will just give up when they face challenges or obstacles.
When the realistic optimist faces challenges or obstacles, they try harder, they propel themselves toward it, and find ways to overcome it and achieve their goals.
“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” (William Arthur Ward).
When people are experiencing stress and anxiety as a result of contact, uncertain and disruptive change, they can become pessimistic.
Providing people with the knowledge, support and resources to be resilient in the face of constant change, can enable them to have an optimistic, whilst also realistic, outlook.
Optimism can drive an organisation forward.
Optimism brings with it increased productivity; creativity; teamwork; engagement; customer service; and as a result, increased profitability.
Optimism is also contagious.
An optimist, especially if they are an extrovert and more than happy to share their thoughts, feelings and emotions, can infect an entire team.
A 2019 Harvard Business Review article, stated that optimists are 40% more likely to get promoted; six times more likely to be engaged and five times less likely to burn out than their colleagues.
They are important figures for a successful organisation. In a world with a war on talent, turnover is not only costly but also dangerous.
If employees feel stuck, are disengaged, or burnt out, they are likely to leave the organisation. Optimists are able to overcome these issues and help build a more stable organisation.
Organisations need to keep moving forward and faster than ever when the competition is hot on their tail.
Optimists will stick to a chosen path even in the face of challenges because they believe in its success. When something goes wrong, they don’t give up. They find an alternative path toward success.
Optimism is a core component of any organisation able to grow and thrive in today’s and tomorrow’s world of disruptive change.
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