Monday, April 29, 2013

It's magic

A few months back, we wrote about optimism and pessimism and the need for a small business owner to have a pragmatic view of his or her world.

Fixating on the bigger picture -- that is the macro environment -- is often more valuable as personal entertainment than it is productive for your enterprise.

Everyone lives in the same macro environment.  It suits some; doesn't thrill others.  The difficult job you have is to figure out how these big picture issues do, will or won't affect you and organization, without letting your personal preferences and interests color your judgement.

It's a hard task.  There are many cognitive biases that we all succumb to from time to time.  Here's a link to a list of 61 of them

Which gets us back to positive thinking, or rather, rational pragmatic thinking.  How do you check your own work, so to speak?  In a recent article, The Danger of Positive Thinking, Geoffrey James offers some tips for preventing a lapse into magical thinking:

  • "Be positive you'll achieve your goals, but not that your goals will never change.
  • Be positive you'll do your best, but not that your best will always win.
  • Be positive you'll overcome obstacles, but not that obstacles don't exist.
  • Be positive you can help your customers, but not that everyone is a customer.
  • Be positive you'll make hard decisions, even when it means cutting your losses.
  • Be positive you'll manage your emotions, but not that you'll never be disappointed.
  • Treat positivity as part of your tool kit, but not a tool that fits every situation."

Positivity is an attribute all leaders need, and one that keeps many going in the face of the ongoing challenges of running an organization (and life, of course.)  Need a booster shot?  Here is some powerful, positive thinking on the subject that is pure magic:

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