Be optimistic and keep sight of the end game

Be optimistic and keep sight of the end game


In the context of the lockdown and events surrounding us there is considerable room for pessimism as business owners, employers, managers and leaders. Yes, we do not know the outcome of events. Yes, it is difficult to manage anything without any certainty. However, history shows us that things will recover. We will get out of this and those best able to remain optimistic and to look for opportunities will be those who mentally, physically and commercially will thrive when things get better. Your state of mind through this will be critical.

I sat in an HR conference recently where the speaker talked to the 3 P’s of optimism as developed by Martin Seligman (the author of Learned Optimism). These are very relevant to our current situation so let’s deal with them:

  • (P)ermanence – pessimists tend to assume current conditions will last for ever while optimists recognise they are temporary, often cyclical and things will get better;
  • (P)ervasiveness – pessimists assume that a mistake or problems in one area are all consuming and let it impact their business, personal and spiritual well-being. Optimists tend to isolate the issue and say “ok, that didn’t go so well there”, but don’t let it impact their situation elsewhere;
  • (P)ersonalisation – pessimists assume all set backs are personal. Optimists recognise that issues may partly be due to them, but that often bad luck or external events play a big role.

Consider the events around you. We are all in this together. This was not caused by our neighbours. We could decide to be fatalistic about it or we can use it as an opportunity to strengthen our business, look for new opportunities, broaden our horizons and build stronger bonds with people…