Optimism: A Necessary Leadership Trait

Leadership, Nonprofits, Social Work

Start small to become an optimist. For now focus on what you want your ideal state to look like within the problem you are trying to solve. Once you have identified what your ideal state is then brainstorm what the steps might look like to get to that ideal state. Now start taking some of those small steps.

You are now officially moving away from working on the problem and have moved to working on the solution.

Celebrate milestones along the way. You may have only completed two out of 10 steps in the process, but if those two steps were large arduous steps, stop and celebrate. Now, as you are taking this journey into optimism, don’t forget about vision as well. You may have your plan and your steps in place, however sometimes you may need to pivot and reevaluate the steps you are taking. You may need to fine tune your path by changing up your steps a little so keep your vision open.

Now look back and look forward. Look back and recognize how far you have come and celebrate. Now look forward and see how far you still have to go. Lastly, look back again and realize “I made it this far, I will do it again.” Rise up with intention and energy to embrace your new self, an optimistic self.

Review the past steps and learn from what didn’t work so well. Continue on. Don’t waste your energy on negativity rather spend your energy on making the next step; and make it the best one yet. Ask a lot of questions about that mistake so you can figure out how to get around it and move on.

Gratitude requires contentment and passion requires discontent, stay optimistic yet discontent in order to continually make progress forward.
About the Author
McKenzie Smith
McKenzie Smith
Founder, Consultant

McKenzie Smith is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 15 years of experience in the social services. She is committed to bringing all technology solutions and information into 1 centralized and synthesized hub for the sector. She is very passionate about social services and nonprofits using metrics and technology to increase effectiveness and impact on large scales. When she is not moving the social service system forward you will find her chasing after her son Nash, running her daughter Irie to activities or going to a Pilates class.