May 27, 2016

Are You a Positive Leader?

Would the people you lead say you're a positive leader?  One of the qualities of a good leader is optimism.  I recently read a story about Walt Disney.  The year was 1928.  Walt had just finished up some business meetings and was sitting in Union Station in New York City, preparing to board a train back to California.

Before boarding the train, he sent a telegram to his brother that read: "Don't worry, everything okay, will give details when I arrive."

What the telegram didn't say was that Walt had just lost everything.  He had went to New York to negotiate a contract for his cartoons.  But on arrival, he found that his distributor had hired away most of his animators to start a new studio and produce the cartoons without Walt.

Instead of giving up...with no contract....no animators...no promises...he got right back to work and created Mickey Mouse.  From Walt's optimism, we can learn 3 things.

#1 - Face your circumstances with a positive attitude.  It's easy to be positive when things are going great.  A positive leader remains positive even in the midst of adversity.

#2 - Focus on what you have instead of what you don't have.  Notice how Walt immediately begin focusing on what he could do.  Instead of focusing on what had been taken from him, he turned his attention to what could not be taken from him...his creativity, passion and skills.

#3 - Find positive words to stay instead of negative words.  This is reflected in the telegram Walt send to his brother.  Positive leaders lead with positive words.

Are you a positive leader?

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