The Power of Positive Thinking
One leader that many respect and admire is Richard Branson, and with good reason. Mr. Branson might be the classic risk-taker in business. What I see is an energetic leader who understands customer service from a very distinct perspective. It may seem that he gambles with new companies every other day, but those who delve into his autobiographical work (such as The Virgin Way) might learn better how and why he approaches things as he does. You see, it seems to me that’s it’s all about perspective with Mr. Branson. Even as he pulls his commonly known pranks, he’s coming from a place of well-meaning and always has. When having crossed the line, Mr. Branson has admitted to his mistakes and apologized for them as needed, displaying a sense of humility and grace, and even while trying to correct the situation.
In the latter part of last year, came across a podcast interview with Tim Ferriss interviewing Mr. Branson. Episode #272 (which can be found here) delves into the mind of Mr. Branson, of course in the extensive long-form format so many of Ferriss’ fans love and appreciate. A great story is shared by Mr. Branson there, detailing accounts of a category 7 Hurricane his family had to survive. Richard mentions that his family had sheltered in the basement through a storm, and describes how they got through it with hugs, laughs, and maintaining spirits. At some point in the conversation, Mr. Branson also asserts about other dangerous situations faced and elaborates on how he and his team have stayed focused in those circumstances. Would like to emphasize the importance of positivity in his comment around “staying positive, even if you are facing certain death.” (You can listen up to about 11:40 to hear the whole part of the conversation). Putting on a brave face and maintaining a positive mindset is necessary for any organizational leaders when facing challenging times.
Leaders are not always just born, they’re sometimes developed and made. I would so assert to summarize the quote of Mr. Branson in saying this: ‘As leaders, we must remain positive, even in the face of certain death.’ To steal a phrase I’ve often heard from Tim on the podcast [woo woo]: While this may seem like woo woo talk to some, please remember that positive organizational behavior can make or break a company with regards to employee morale, direction, and strategy. Energy and enthusiasm are important to an organization and much of the various levels of staff can be energized by a high level of positive thinking and excitement from executive leadership. However, the great enemy to positive thinking can be negative thinking: “This is why we can’t do this.” “This is why that’s not going to work.” “That’s impossible.” “No way that could or is going to happen.” “We just can’t.”
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