There is no doubt that over optimism can be harmful if too distant from reality. Take for instance physical health warnings. If we ignore them believing everything will be fine, we are in danger of making things worse. The same goes for business. If we consistently fall short of our sales targets resulting in poor cash flow it won’t be long before banks shut us down.
Naivety in business is foolish, but it is also counterproductive to adopt a doom and gloom pessimistic attitude that demotivates both the workforce and customers.
On the other hand, to appropriately acknowledge what is really going on and learning from mistakes is both rational and positive. This is when believing the glass is half full is truly valuable.
Realistic optimism however, needs to begin with employee engagement. When staff benefit from leaders who tell the truth about the business, trust their people to do a good job and give them the support they need all wrapped up in positive, energetic drive from the top, employees will be completely on board with moving the business forward.
Clarity and focus internally clears the way for clarity and focus on customers. This can only come from an optimistic outlook based on solid foundations of cooperation, cohesion and FUN! Full employee engagement leads to happy customers and increased sales.
Once positive momentum begins and business is going well it is important not to allow enthusiasm to morph into over extending or over estimating projections and plans. To maintain realistic optimism regular meetings are needed to monitor if anything is going wrong and nip it in the bud before damage is done and, of course, to celebrate successes.
The glass half full in business is both powerful and effective, but it needs a conscious and persistent reality check to be truly successful.