Brutal Optimism?

I am thinking about "How ‘brutal optimism’ can help get you through any crisis" written by Jonathon Lobbins, Chairman & CEO, Primasun at Verily Life Sciences, 

While I find the term "brutal optimism" jarring and novel, Jonathon Lobbins makes a very sound argument for its application. On reflection, it's not far apart from my "radical optimism."

Jonathon writes, "The leaders who practice brutal optimism—who meet increasingly complex challenges with the belief that we have the talent, technologies, and insights to solve them—will be the ones who seize the present opportunity."

"Brutal optimism requires bold reflection."

"Innovation requires dogged perseverance, fueled by optimism. We must have the tenacity to take stock of the tools and insights in our possession that can drive radical change and truly forge a better path forward. 

"To disrupt outdated processes, leaders will have to harness optimism. This doesn’t mean throwing around positivity with reckless abandon—attitude alone won’t solve our most substantial problems. 

"Optimism means having the vision to imagine a new path forward, and pursuing it with confidence, hope, and open-mindedness. That can be difficult after having to be so brutally honest. But it’s the difference between getting bogged down by the challenges ahead and pushing through them. 

"Brutal optimism requires a rare combination: critical evaluation of the past and present, combined with optimistic problem-solving. One without the other creates an imbalance that limits the ability to innovate effectively.

"I see great promise across industries, from healthcare to astrophysics, despite the array of challenges that leaders are facing today. When we embrace the unique opportunity presented by this moment and practice brutal optimism, we can make real change and alleviate burdens that have plagued our communities."


More on Brutal Optimism

I have found a 2020 blog post by Dave Beam entitled "Brutal Optimism."

Dave writes:

"If you have a desire to be realistic and also maintain optimism, I have good news. There is an alternative mindset to pessimism, so-called realism, and airy fairy optimism, called brutal optimism.

 "Please consider….
"Brutal optimists don’t stick their heads in the sand and ignore reality. Rather, they look directly at the problem and smile. A brutal optimist knows that outcomes are more influenced by their responses, rather than the conditions themselves. They accept and appreciate all four seasons, including winter. A brutal optimist understands that spring follows winter, and that if they plant in the spring, and cultivate in the summer, there will likely be a harvest in the fall. Problems are for solving, not just discussed. The brutal optimist welcomes and embraces problems as gifts that bring opportunity.
"Brutal optimists realize that a positive, upbeat attitude is essential to keep the creative juices flowing. Creativity is needed to address difficult challenges. Brutal optimists understand that reality is perceived, and that people find what they look for. They look straight at problems, and then take great joy in seeking creative solutions. They know problems and difficulties are their means of getting better. Brutal optimists are effective leaders that enroll their team and their customers to stand with them and help them brainstorm possibilities and create amazing solutions.
"Brutal optimists are the real deal. They are accountable, analytical, and brutally honest about the what is occurring. They stare life right in the face, and then choose to be hopeful, persevering, and believing. They don’t DENY what is, but fully embrace what is and then take action to positively affect what can be changed, and joyfully accept what cannot be changed. Brutal optimism is choosing to consider all possibilities and then act. It is the discipline to be positive while facing difficulty. It is a rough, tough, kind and gentle view of the world all rolled into one. Brutal optimists face all the facts of the circumstance, the good, the bad, the ugly, and then choose to engage in positive action and response. They reject mediocrity and failure.
"What difficulties are you facing? Look carefully and distinguish between what is occurring and your perception of what is occurring. Much of what you believe as true may only appear to be true. You may not be able to change what is occurring, but you can always shift your perception. I challenge you to embrace optimism, and then take another look at your situation. An optimistic mindset will help you create responses that will improve the outcome. Even if you don’t get exactly what you want, you can always grow stronger through difficult experiences. Be brutally honest with the facts, and then choose optimism. Optimism fuels perseverance, and perseverance gets the problem addressed."


In a 2021, video entitled "Handling crisis with brutal optimism'', Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman and Managing Director of Hindustan Unilever Limited, said a leader should be brutally optimistic.



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