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Project Optimist

Project Optimism

Smilers and Frowners working together

Are you an optimistic project leader or a pessimistic one? How you view your work has impact on how well you and your team performs.

Do you start off each January with a vision in your head of a wonderful outcome for your year, or do you internally forecast more doom and gloom. (Note: our assumption is that you've all known some doom and gloom ... yes?)

Media reports (most recently, Time Magazine's January 26, 2005 feature stories) and researchers give credence to optimism as being helpful for any number of outcomes, including better health and longer lives. While the jury is out on whether optimism is learned or inherited - or a combination of both - you can still understand how optimism and optimists contribute to your projects.

While you may *feel* a sense of doom and gloom, do you want to push only that viewpoint out to your group? So what if... your budget is getting smaller, getting chipped and chopped... your deadlines are impossible... your risks got riskier... and your group just got reorganized into oblivion? You can reasonably take any aspect with a positive or negative attitude - such as news of a budget cut:

  1. Positive Slant- Good news that you will get to do more with less... to learn how to better manage your resources
  2. Negative Forecast- Bad news that you are going to fail to deliver anything of value... and all fall on your faces.


To help you realize your role as viewed by others you manage or influence... think about it this way: What would you want your leaders to say to you about your next 6 or 12 months?

"Everyone, it's going to be tough, so you may want to leave now..."?

Now, imagine your leadership saying - perhaps tongue in cheek, but forcefully - "Guys, Ladies... we are faced with a difficult situation, and we all get to pull together to do the best we can. From adversity comes knowledge and experience... and strength. And we're optimistic that we can and will perform rewarding and satisfatory work. You're a good group, and you all deserve to keep your heads up, your attitude up and positive as well."

Bottom Line: Lead the team upwards.

Other Articles:

© 2005 Firio Corporation

Overly Optimistic?

- Listen to the pessimists. Their messages may not be delivered in the format you prefer, but the content is just as important.

Are you a Pessimist? Just because someone seems too happy doesn't mean that they can't be critical. Again, listen - perhaps more closely - to the content of their communication.

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