Optimism and Leadership

In my search of all things optimism, I came across the article 5 Reasons Why Optimists Make Better Leaders. Even though it is written with a business audience in mind, it rings true for leaders in education as well. The reasons are simple:

  • Optimists start businesses (see opportunity where others see uncertainty and despair)
  • Optimists are inspiring communicators
  • Optimists rally people to a better future
  • Optimists see the big picture
  • Optimists elicit super human effort

We need the leaders of our schools to have this approach. Optimism is the disposition that goes with the habit of telling empowering stories. These two go hand in hand as you think about how you want to lead your school or department. In Chapter 3 of Onward, the Implications for Leaders section reminds us that what you think and believe have tremendous impact on your organization. It is your responsibility to tell stories that cultivate resilience in your staff and ultimately serve children. If you find that you tell destructive or unhelpful stories, then it is your responsibility to shift them. You may have inherited a narrative at your school, so craft a new one in partnership with staff. Otherwise you may be responsible for propagating an unhelpful story.

Share this with leaders in your organization, and surround yourself with those who are committed to telling empowering stories.