Characteristics #59: The Optimism of Will in Others

By | May 10, 2014

[May 10, 2014] It never seems to amaze me that some people can energize and harness an optimistic attitude in others. I admire those greatest of individuals and envy their endless ability to make others feel like someone special. Only the greatest of leaders can do this with groups of people, while concurrently keeping their organization afloat.

This is true leadership. Recently, I wrote about “perpetual optimism” in individual leaders where I proposed that it is a learned attitude. Get back up when knocked down, smile when the world gets you down, “get ‘er done,” are just a few phrases that symbolize the individual leader who possesses the quality of optimism.

Yet, it is the great leader who is able to ignite optimism in others – a trait that separates the great from the good. When a senior leader is able to instill something in other people and then use that to the betterment of all, then that is truly something magical. These are the people not satisfied with who you are or what you are, but what you can be in your future. That is the acme of senior leadership in its most raw and endearing form.

What one needs in life are the pessimism of intelligence and the optimism of will.” – Ambassador André de Staercke

Ambassador Staercke understood the “optimistic spirit of America”1. He understood that to be successful in the most important of positions of leadership, one had to know and control the spirit of optimism of others. Only by doing so could one be the most successful.

Therefore, the understanding of and harnessing of the optimism of will in others is a key characteristic of senior leaders that only the rarest possess.

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[1] Rumsfeld’s Rules by Donald Rumsfeld

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.