Traits of Optimism in leadership- an important trait as we return to normalcy is Optimism
For the building industry our optimism is not the return of buyers, they are already here in great numbers, but it is the return of an orderly supply chain and more people filling the employment rolls. Our business actually expanded during the pandemic. Not true in the cruise, hotel, restaurant, airline and retail segments. They have high expectations and should be very optimistic about their chances of returning to 2019 levels. Leaders today in all sectors of the marketplace need to instill a sense of optimism moving forward. And there is a lot to be optimistic about.
The stock market is at record levels, SW Airlines is at 90% of 2019 levels, the cruise industry is gearing up and new deals are fantastic, restaurants that were able to stay in business are busy again, and so on. Leaders in these times have a lot to complain about, but that is counterproductive. Fuel the flames of optimism and motivate your employees to put the negatives behind them. Labor markets are tight so you want to be the place where good talent will migrate to and stay.
In an optimistic environment seek creative solutions from your talent of workers– be collaborative. The next great solution in a collaborative work environment will likely not come from you, despite the skill and knowledge that got you to the C-level suite (CEO, COO, CIO, CHR). The greatness of any group is the combination of so many good minds pouring out thoughts inspired by the group. You will be surprised where the next solution comes from. Besides, these workers are striving to become C-level worthy. Once your work force gets a taste of real solution problem solving, their thought process becomes so much more valuable to the company.
Maintaining an open mind– this goes hand and hand with seeking creative solutions. It is one thing to seek collaboration as a leader, but it is quite different to accept suggestions and solutions that force you to think outside the box. In other words, staying open minded. New thoughts, solutions, ideas and talent can add to the bottom line at any time. How gratifying is it to find some nugget of advice that completely changes how you think or perform tasks.
The space industry is a prime example. Numerous think tanks ponder new technology every day as they work on cutting edge solutions to explore the Universe and how to get there. True Cognitive Artificial Intelligence is a mere algorithm away and it could happen tomorrow or today. This would not occur in a closed-minded environment.
Anticipate success– This is where optimism really is important. Don’t be a wishful thinker- that can be unrealistic. But a confident optimistic mindset will inspire the same feelings in your team. Think about this, we know someday we will travel routinely out of our solar system. But today that technology is not in reach, yet millions of people worldwide are working to get to that point. What makes them think they will achieve that and even better and why will they work a lifetime to achieve part of the solution. My bet would be optimism and confidence.
Stephen Gravett has been a real estate developer for over 45 years and was most recently CEO of Kennedy Homes for the past 11 years and is still CEO of Kennedy Development Partners (KDP) and full time Director of Operations for 5 Star Developers. He is also a state licensed broker and since 1980 a State licensed General Contractor Unlimited. He flew B-52’s in the US Air Force during the Vietnam war.