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— - Organization Development Consultant

Optimism Strengthens the Business Bottom Line


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Whether consulting to leadership teams on how to navigate through change or during executive coaching with a leader who feels stuck, the one topic I often begin is with optimism. I will ask if they feel optimistic about the future, and how they manage to maintain an optimistic outlook. As a leader, if you project doubt or a “glass half empty attitude,” your teams will quickly see this in your behavior.  Positive people smile more and frown less.

Building Optimism

So how do we build business optimism with ourselves or our teams? Practicing gratitude is an effective way to increase optimism. I do this by recording five things that I am grateful for each day in a journal. Even on my hardest days, I can usually find five things; it could be as simple as having a roof over my head, food to eat, or great friends and family. Others practice optimism by sharing stories of what they are looking forward to. When you share, others will share, and you will learn from past experiences.  

Another way to build optimism is to exercise and eat a healthy diet. If you feel good physically, it often translates to positive feelings about yourself.  When I feel less optimistic, I usually go for a run or a bike ride, and notice that I feel better about the situation upon returning. When we take care of ourselves, we are best able to take care of our clients and teams.     

Smiling more and frowning less helps with optimism as well. Babies smile hundreds of times a day, and as we become older, adults smile less and less. Building your optimism could be as simple as setting a goal for the week or month to remind yourself to smile each day. You may be surprised at how this simple change will have an impact on those around you.

Business Bottom Line

Optimism impacts the business bottom line by supporting engagement.  An optimistic business leader often considers failure as a new start, and uses energy from small failures to try something different. Optimistic leaders are happier and have less stress.  In addition, they focus on their health. Healthy and happy leaders impact the bottom line because of their high level of engagement, in addition to not taking as many sick days.  An optimistic leader spreads optimism to their teams, which helps the entire group to be open to new ideas and possibilities.

Reasons to Think Like an Optimist    

In her article on, Jessica Cassity shares 10 Reasons to Think Like an Optimist

  1. Optimists feel happier

  2. Optimist are healthier

  3. Optimists are more likely to become 100 years old

  4. Optimists take fewer sick days

  5. Optimists are less prone to freakouts

  6. Optimists are the best dates

  7. Optimists have happier 9-5s

  8. Optimists get more job offers and promotions

  9. Optimists are better at bouncing back

  10. Optimists make better athletes

 Quantify Your Optimism

To quantify your level of Optimism, take this quick, free assessment provided by the University of Pennsylvania Authentic Happiness website.

Remember that optimistic people are more successful and enjoy their work through both challenges and success!

To learn more about the impact on optimism on business, check out our article in the Cape Cod Times, Tips and Habits of Small Business Optimists

How do you practice or build your optimism as a business leader? Leave a comment to share.  
In a future blog, I will be sharing about how starting with optimism and hope, as a coach or consultant triggers part of the client’s brain that opens them to learning and sustained change.

Want to build optimism in your organization?
Our popular, custom workshops on Optimism, Resilience and Grit have taught many leaders how to build these skills. These programs are often requested as a response to the Emotional Impact of Organizational Change, to Strengthen Employee Engagement, or as a resource for Wellness Programs.

Questions? Let’s connect. We would love to hear your success stories or questions! Send them to: or visit 

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