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August 20, 2020 19 min
Pessimistic Leaders Can Never Instill Hope Leadership is about pointing people to a more promising tomorrow. At its best it instills hope and unshakeable confidence in the people it leads. To do so, however, leaders must be men and women who themselves embody and exemplify optimism. People may be influenced by pessimists. But they are never inspired to follow them. Pessimism comes easily. Our brains are hyper-attuned to anticipate and recognize threats. That makes us susceptible to fears, anxieties, and foreboding views of the future. Left unchecked, such states of mind easily lead to pessimism. Yet, I'm persuaded that people prefer to live in hope, to live with confidence that things will be better tomorrow. And they turn to leaders to provide them such assurance. For this reason, leaders must see themselves as guardians of optimism, first in themselves, then in their people. In this podcast I build the case for optimism as a way of life. I look at the backdrop of uncertainty and unrest which permeates American life today. And I highlight the role that optimistic leaders will play in ushering us out of this predicament into a future filled with promise. A printed transcript of this episode may be downloaded at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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