Normally when I am writing about the location of your business, I am focused on the physical or virtual locations of the business. Today I want to focus on the mental or psychological location of your perspective on your business. In working with clients, the success of organizations is impacted by their leaders’ perspectives on events, opportunities, results, and the future. Leaders tend to locate their businesses one of three categories: Optismist Overlook, Pessimist Place, or Realist Road.

Welcome to Optimist Overlook

When you visit Optimist Overlook, the business may reside at the corner of WishfulThinking and Hope Is My Strategy. A business in this neighborhood needs to determine if they can backup belief with reality. The belief that everything will work out 100% of the time is unrealistic (wishful thinking). Often, businesses ignore the signals when things aren’t working. In fact, they will often work harder and do more of what isn’t working in the hope of having a different result. So having a positive approach to life and business is good, but wearing rose-colored glasses can create significant challenges when your journey intersects with Reality Road. Next stop Pessimist Place.

Pessimist Place

On the other side of town from Optimist Overlook, you find Pessimist Place. Businesses here face the opposite challenge of those at Optimist Outlook. For the pessimist, it is hard to see the successes and how to build from them. A success is never quite enough; it somehow doesn’t measure up, and as a consequence can demoralize the team.

Pessimists plan for—and expect—the worst. For them, business can’t succeed because everything doesn’t work perfectly. They stand at the intersection of Why Try? It Won’t Work and Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop. While in the mode of constantly waiting for the worst to happen, they can miss the opportunities and enjoyment accomplishment.

Realist RoadRealist Road

We’ve been traveling in some pretty rough neighborhoods, but we’ve finally found where every business needs to relocate to Realist Road. Businesses who build here have achieved the balance between the optimists (everything will work) and the pessimists (nothing works).

The realists look for the positives, believe they can achieve success, and recognize that some things won’t work. They plan a positive course of success for the business and provide contingencies and action plans to take corrective action when things don’t go as planned.

Realists are willing to look for opportunities and chose the ones that fit their core capabilities. They grow their business with:

  1. Strategies and tactics to increase market share;
  2. Identification of complementary and adjacent markets, products, and services that fit with their area of expertise and competency;
  3. Innovating, adapting, and seeking new opportunities, technologies, and competitive advantages.

Residents of Pessimist Place and Optimist Overlook can manage to run into Reality Road. If they are willing and able to change their perspectives, they can turn onto Reality Road and transform their businesses. They can set a positive course that recognizes that strategic planning, clear goals, results, and execution can enable them to achieve the vision they have of the future for their businesses, team, and community.


Copyright ©2016 Lea A. Strickland, F.O.C.U.S. Resource, Inc.

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