Many of us give up every day when we focus on the barriers instead of looking at what we can accomplish. For much of my life, I’ve been quite good at seeing these barriers.
I’ve focused on the information I still need rather than what can be accomplished with the information I have.I’ve bemoaned the limitations of an aggressive timeline instead of seeing it as an opportunity to do something positive more quickly.
In short, I’ve been a pessimist. My outlook has kept me from fully investing myself into my work. Over the last few years I’ve worked to change that, to value forward progress far more than perfection and to see ambiguity as an opportunity for more creativity. Change isn’t easy, but I am starting.
I’ve had the privilege to work with a team at Xerox over the last few months on a marketing program that has included a look at the benefits of optimism in business. What I’ve learned has been changing my perspective for the better.
I’ve included quotes below from two of the experts we worked with on this project. Perspective from them and others is available as part of Xerox’s Return on Optimism site.
What’s the difference between outputs and outcomes? Some think the question is merely semantics, or that the difference is simple: outputs are extrinsic and outcomes intrinsic. I think otherwise; the difference between outputs and outcomes is more fundamental and profound.
In my interview with Harvard Business School professor Gautam Mukunda, author of Indispensable: When Leaders Really Matter, I asked him about the biggest mistake leaders make: Gautam: Over time, it’s grandiosity. Eric: Hubris? Gautam: Yeah.
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