Now that the lazy days of summer have come to an end I see some people exuding a rather melancholy state of mind. Whether it’s the start of school with the busy schedules it includes, the shorter daylight hours and the prospect of long, cold winter nights, or the thought of a stretch of many months before the next vacation, many people just appear down. It’s a phenomenon I see year after year.
On the opposite end of the spectrum I see many individuals excited and energized by the change of season. They see it as a fresh start, a time to rev up and get into gear. They embrace the idea of waking up from the summer slumber and returning to the hectic pace of regular life.
What is it that influences these emotions, and why are they so different from one another? I suspect it has a lot to do with their general outlook on life. As the old saying goes, “Are you a glass half full or glass half empty type of person?” In the business world how you answer that question may be the difference between success and failure. In Jim Collins’ book Good to Great he writes, “Every good-to-great company embraced what we came to call the Stockdale Paradox: You must maintain unwavering faith that you can and will prevail in the end regardless of the difficulties…” Although this type of positive attitude does not guarantee success it does model optimism for success. Employees want to follow a leader who believe in his or her business. If you’ve ever worked for someone of the doom and gloom mentality you understand what I mean. It’s quite difficult to stay motivated in that environment.
However, when it come to business, maintaining a glass half full perspective doesn’t just happen. Good leaders feel optimistic because they’ve done their homework. They build that perspective on the following premise:
- They are confident in their business plan
- They are executing that plan effectively
- They have the right people in the right seats of their organization
- They are operating within the company’s core focus and core values
- They can access the company data and use it to keep a pulse on their business
- They identify and promptly resolve the company issues
- They have documented processes that are followed by all
In other words they do the ground work to allow the optimism to shine through. One tool we at Makarios Consulting have found to be particularly effective in accomplishing this is the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®). We have used this well organized, common sense system with many of our clients to help them gain traction, achieve great results AND stay half full.