Hi, I’m Dr. Colm Foster, Senior Associate at Dynamic Results, and with my colleague Henry Evans, I co-authored Step Up, Lead In Six Moments That Matter. You can stay current with my ideas by following me on Twitter at @DrColmFoster.
When working with our clients to develop Core Competency Models, they sometimes ask us about Key Leadership Traits and whether leaders are born or made. Much has been written about this topic. We believe that leadership is a developable skill but that the personality does play a role.
Based on our work coaching and developing leaders, we believe optimism is a critical leadership trait. Holding a positive view of the future is a key part of leading teams and indeed of leading oneself. It’s also fundamental to bouncing back from setbacks; we sometimes refer to this as leadership resilience.
However, unbridled optimism can lead to unhealthy outcomes. In fact, in another blog, Henry and I talked about the value of pessimism and how to leverage it for better relationships and business outcomes.
When working with our clients we encourage them to temper their optimism with good reality testing. This means grounding your optimism with a solid grasp of the situation you are facing.
So, our definition of the ideal leader?
A person with high optimism – balanced with good reality testing.
This sounds something like: I fully understand and appreciate all of the obstacles we face and knowing all of that I remain confident that we can deliver against our strategy objectives.
Thank you for your continued interest. We look forward to bringing you additional Insights From Our Experts in future blogs.
If you or your team want to deep dive on Stepping Up, contact us for information on keynotes, workshops and custom programs meant to ignite leadership at every level of your organization. Email Ede Ericson Cardell at: [email protected], or call 214-742-1403 x 106.