Optimism And Opportunity Connected At The Waist

USA TODAY: The best leaders have certain qualities in common.
First, there is an almost uncanny ability to see the big picture and make decisions with limited information.
Then there’s that rare combination of caring and charisma that makes others willing to take a bullet for them.
But it is increasingly apparent that the quality most common to those at the top is their tendency to see everything through rose-colored glasses. Leaders, it seems, are more optimistic than the rest of us curmudgeons.
Survey after survey indicates this. When 50,000 workers were asked, 54% of senior managers said they viewed their organization as “healthy,” according to a Booz Allen Hamilton survey released last month. But just 33% of middle managers and less than 30% of the rank and file echoed the sentiment.
To the rest of us, CEO optimism more often resembles a feeble grip on reality. CEO expert Leslie Gaines-Ross at Burson-Marsteller recalls one survey that asked CEOs worldwide if their companies could recover from a crisis. Ninety-nine percent said yes. “That is extremely optimistic,” Gaines-Ross says.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.