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Being the leaders followers like to follow

Let’s start this article by looking at your hand. Stick your left hand in front of you and look to find something you would change about it. Perhaps you have wrinkles or unattractive fingernails. Some of you will look at your wedding ring and think you’ve got the wrong ring on. Now look for something you like. Perhaps you have five fingers and all of them work. This simple exercise illustrates two important psychological points. First, is that everything has positive and negative characteristics. Second, is that when you see the good, you don’t see the bad and vice versa. They are mutually exclusive categories. As leaders, we have both positive and negative characteristics. Let’s look at a list of synonyms on a continuum of ranging from pessimism to optimism and you can decide who you would prefer to work with.

Further, Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology, in his book Learned Optimism wrote that:
• Optimists believe bad events are temporary while pessimists believe bad events are permanent.
• Optimists compartmentalize failure while pessimists believe that a failure in one area of life means failure in life as a whole.
• Optimists believe that bad things happen to good people whereas pessimists believe everything about them is bad.
All of us are on this continuum somewhere. Circle the number that represents you. Ask your employees to do the same and discuss the ratings.


By Dr. Larry Cole – WEDA Magazine Fall 2017