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Foster Optimistic Leadership

The best leaders are realistic and infectious optimists and lead their teams to discover greater optimism, resilience and self-mastery.  

by Victor Perton


We are all called to lead from kindergarten to our death-bed.

As a song says we don’t need another hero but the times call for realistic and infectiously optimistic leadership.

In our surveys asking open questions on what makes a good leader, you end up with many qualities suggested as vital.  There are thousands of books on these qualities and developing them.  There is a thriving industry in leadership development.

Media or culture?  The zeitgeist in the developed world has become pessimistic and cynical.

How do we find our way out of the fog of pessimism?  We need beacons of optimism.

The best leaders are realistic and infectious optimists and lead their teams to discover greater optimism, resilience and self-mastery.  

A popular mantra with our participants is “The Leader looks like the person in MY mirror.”

At the Centre for Optimism, we work around self-driven optimism, infectious optimism.

In our corporate and institutional work, we ask senior leaders to open up conversations right across the business on what makes the team members optimistic.   

Who Supports our Call for Realistic and Infectiously Optimistic Leadership?

Robert Masters, Chair, Centre for Optimism

“Leadership and optimism are the two key elements the community wants in today's unsettled world. Leaders must have optimism as the foundation for all their policies; and they must deliver it through sound, confident and stable leadership. Growth, employment, equality, innovation, tax, health, education, security all require this thinking. Communities not only expect it, but also deserve it.”

Denis Henry, Chairman of the Royal Flying Doctor Service

“Optimism about the future and about the essential goodness in the majority of your community and workforce is the fuel for the certainty and commitment a leader needs.”

Dominic Barton, emeritus Global Managing Director, McKinsey

“Optimism is at the very core of leadership. The best leaders I have encountered in my career are those that remain optimistic –- and ambitious -– for their organisations even in the face of great adversity. They are those whose optimism enables them to recognise the potential in others, and help them develop to be leaders themselves.”

Nelson Mandela

"I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed towards the sun, one’s feet moving forward."

James Strock, Serve to Lead and Member of The Centre for Optimism Advisory Board

‘Vision is the ultimate source of all leadership. Optimism is vision girded for battle. Optimism can be a shape-shifting and protean force, moving like water past all obstacles, breaking a path of love, expressed in courage.’

IndonesianPresident Joko “Jokowi” Widodo

“A leader should convey ‪optimism and encourage his or her people, even though there are many difficult challenges.”

“There is no country on earth that prospers without optimism”

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Victoria 3206
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