Optimism and resilience are the two qualities most sought by employers. Does this mean we are seeking unrealistic Pollyanna types? No. The ideal optimist fearlessly faces reality – deliberately uncovering and facing unpleasant facts – while maintaining the course. They are not deflated by obstacles.
One particular book on this topic, The Art of Possibility, has served me well for years. I find myself drawn to it again and again. Here is a favorite excerpt from the book:
The practice featured in this chapter helps one invent and sustain frameworks that bring forth possibility. It is about restructuring meanings, creating visions, and establishing environments where possibility is spoken — where the buoyant force of possibility overcomes the pull of the downward spiral.
The steps to the practice of framing possibility are:
1. Make a new distinction in the realm of possibility: one that is a powerful substitute for the current framework of meaning that is generating the downward spiral.
2. Enter the territory. Embody the new distinction in such a way that it becomes the framework for life around you.
3. Keep distinguishing what is “on the track” and what is “off the track” of your framework for possibility.
I recommend this book to anyone who aspires to transformational leadership.