3 Ways to Deal With a Pessimist

Do have that one person in your life that is a pessimist? Here’s a few examples on how to deal with them.

Let us take a line from one of our favorite pessimist, He turned around angrily on the others and said “Everybody crowds round so in this Forest. There’s no space. I never saw a more spreading lot of animals in my life, and in all the wrong places.”  That was Eeyore, our depressed little donkey from Winnie the Pooh.

Thousands of people have the same mentality as Eeyore, they are gloomy, negative, downbeat, defeatist, and feel as if the world is going to end.  Another term I always use is melancholy.  This is a person or personality that is always sad, sorrowful, faces depression and unhappiness.  The cloud is always following this person.

Now we all get pessimistic and melancholy from time to time.  Even as leaders we get gloomy and depressed, seeing the glass of water as half empty sometimes.  But it shouldn’t define who we are and our personalities as leaders.

Let me give you 3 ways on how to deal with a pessimist:

1. Understand Yourself First

That may sound strange when dealing with someone else, but it was a very valuable lesson passed down from one of my life long mentors.  Before I can deal with someone else’s attitude and seek to change the atmosphere, I must first understand myself and deal with my own attitude.

When you lead your team, your family, or congregation, ensure that your attitude is top priority, that you have completed maintenance on yourself so that when you go to lead you can lead with the utmost confidence.

“Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.”
― Christian D. Larson, Your Forces and How to Use Them

It is not that we should have the “me first” mentality but rather the “if I am not right as the leader, nothing around me will be right” mentality.

Tell yourself this over and over.  “I must start with me.  I must look in the mirror.  I must evaluate myself.  I must change myself.  I must change my thinking, my attitude, and my outlook.  If I worried more about myself as I did others, I would be a better person.  If I changed myself more than I tried to change others I would be a better leader.”

Now that we have laid a foundation, let us look at the second thing we should do.

2.  Have The Pessimist’ Best Interest In Mind

When you get depression negativity, sadness, and attitude together, you have have a concoction straight from the pits of Hell itself.  It is a brew that boils and steams, then poisons every individual that dare partakes of that devilish drink.

As a leader we surround ourselves with individuals of different personalities and walks of life.  Different races, backgrounds, and religions form our teams and those we come in contact with.  Unfortunately, we must understand that we do not have the luxury of choosing the cream of the crop top notch attitudes in every situation.  And many times we simply have to work with what we’ve got.

So how do I work with a pessimist?  Well one thing you can do is make sure your attitude is one that has this person’s best interest in mind.  What is your ultimate goal with this individual?  Do you really care for them?

You don’t want to manipulate and hijack their personalities, although that’s a thought! LOL!  Here are a few ways you can have their best interest in mind.

  • Show them you care
  • Congratulate and reward the desired behavior
  • By all means work on their weaknesses, but magnify their strengths
  • Lead by example.  “A positive attitude is better caught than taught!”

Show this person that you value their input and they have a very valuable place on your team.  People tend to want to be involved and make things work when they feel they aren’t alienated and sense that they are an integral part of the family, team, or congregation.

3.  Communication Is Key

According to HBR.com there are three ways to deal with a pessimist:

  • Create Awareness
  • Reposition Negative Statements
  • Involve the Whole Team

Unraveling these three actions would take a lot longer than one blog, but the thread that binds them together, is great communication.

Most leaders get and remain frustrated at these individuals and cannot properly lead them.  This is mainly a cause of not having the proper communication skills necessary to facilitate individuals of with different personalities.

Here are the 4 “Be’s” we can do to improve our communication with pessimistic people.

  1. Be honest-Do not let this attitude slip by.  It can disease the whole team and undermine your ultimate goals.
  2. Be patient-Building effective teams does not happen over night.  Helping a person maintain a positive attitude day in and day out will ultimately create the desired outlook in their lives.
  3. Be proactive-Always work on it.  Spend time encouraging, instructing, and guiding.  Teach!  Teach!  Teach!
  4. Be firm-If this person is absolutely not willing to change, fire them!  Fire them from the team, from being your friend, or remove them from your organization.  Cancer spreads and so do pessimistic people.  Some people will never come to grips how their attitude affects everything and everybody.

As leaders we should master our verbal and non verbal cues to dealing with different personalities.  You should position yourself in such way that you can help lead these types of personalities to being productive teams members.

In conclusion,

The leader is a person with a vision, that understands their team, and the different personalities that the individual represents.  They can take these personalities and maximize their strengths so that the entire team compliments one another and in turn deliver the ultimate demonstration of teamwork.

This means at times we have to work with less desirable personalities.  But it also means it gives us an opportunity to be true leaders.   Are you up for the challenge?  Do you see what you need to do?  Think of your own ideas, I would love to hear from you on your thoughts.  Keep on leading and one day you will be the successful leader that you have always dreamed about.

 

Dustin L. Carr

thesuccessfulleader.wordpress.com

 

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The Handy Leader

You do not become a leader from laziness! Some people believe that work is a four-letter curse word. Look at all the great leaders that we read about and I promise you that one of their shining characteristics were that they worked extremely hard.

Your hands speaks volumes about you!  I personally work with my hands everyday of my life.  People often times ask me what I do for a living, and I say, “I manage a preventive maintenance shop.”  And they respond by saying they figured, based on how my hands look.  Hands are a very important part of our body, so much so that we take for granted many times the functionality and value that they provide for us each and everyday of our lives.

In John C. Maxwell’s book, Thinking For a Change, in the cartoon, Charlie Brown is holding up his hands and telling Lucy, “These are the hands which may someday accomplish great things.  These are hands which may someday do marvelous works!  They may build mighty bridges, or heal the sick, or hit home runs, or write soul-stirring novels!  These are the hands which may someday change the course of destiny!”  Lucy looks at his hands and simply says, “They’ve got jelly on them.” (1)

Your hands are a big part of your dreams and your ability to lead.  As a kid I would play games, throw rocks, and build tree houses.  My hands then began to write equations, take test, and wash dishes at a part-time job.  Now my hands work everyday, hold my babies, and point others in the right direction.  I have great plans for my hands, I want them to do great things and make great things happen.  Let me give you a few thoughts on how you can use your hands to lead.

Remember There Are No Handouts

As a leader we should not expect any handouts or freebies.  Do not get me wrong, sometimes the pendulum swings our way and a gift will fall right into our laps.  I for one will take full advantage of it and exploit it to the best of my abilities.  But for the most part nothing is for free and we should fully expect to earn our way to the top.

I never was a person who wanted a handout. I was a cafeteria worker. I’m not too proud to ask the Best Western manager to give me a job. I have cleaned homes.

-Shirley Jackson

Old-timers and even a great majority of the people today understand this concept, that permanent handouts can cripple a person’s ability to lead.  Here are a few things to help you climb your way to the top:

  • Accept responsibility- Understand where you are at right now.  You might be at the bottom.  Or you may not be an effective leader with a dysfunctional team.  Accept your position and situation.
  • Develop a plan-  What is your plans to grow as a leader?  What is your projection of where you are going?  How are you going to get to the top?  Be specific, be realistic, but be optimistic.
  • Work your butt off-  Do not accept handouts! WORK YOUR BUTT OFF!  MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Handouts will do nothing but weaken you and keep you down.  Do not accept the way things are.  Do not accept the status quo!  Do not wait for something to happen, do something about it!

Getting Your Hands Dirty

You do not become a leader from laziness!  Some people believe that work is a four-letter curse word.  Look at all the great leaders that we read about and I promise you that one of their shining characteristics were that they worked extremely hard.

“Whatever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave, whither thou goest.”

-Ecclesiastes 9:10

You must determine what it is you want.  Do you want a good marriage?  Do you want your congregation to grow?  Do you want to meet a new sales goal?  Do you want a nice bass boat?  Do you want straight A’s?

Whatever it is you want, you need to wrapped your hands around the plow, put your nose down, and drive forward.  You will break a sweat, be tested and tried, broken and beaten!  But let consistency be your friend!  Let patience be your confidant!  Embrace discipline as your brother and work as your sister!

Managing and leading can be a dirty job.  Dealing with people and personalities can give you callouses and blisters.  Leading your family in this crazy generation can litter your body with bumps and bruises.  But in the end it can be said of you that your were not afraid of a little work.  You gave it everything you got!

I learned the value of hard work by working hard.

-Margaret Mead

muddy-pig

“Finesse”

I am reminded of the early days of working in the preventive maintenance industry, I would be working with a lot of plastic pieces underneath the hood of a car.  Inevitably, I would break something and have to go and explain myself to the boss.  He would just shake his head and say “Finesse!  Finesse! Finesse!  It’s just plastic! Be easy with it!”

Leadership is a lot like this.  Working with people takes lots of finesse.  I liken it to an artist that has the most delicate touch.  Most artist do not use hammers and shovels to paint a masterpiece, but rather use the slightest stroke and pinpoint accuracy when placing the brush to the canvas.

Be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendship a fine art, drink deeply from good books – especially the Bible, build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks for your blessings and pray for guidance every day.

-John Wooden

Here a few quick thoughts to help you with finesse:

  • Have a passion for being a leader
  • Seek mastery in all you do
  • Never be afraid of failure, just get another canvas

Finesse requires an expert touch from years of training, years of failure and success, knowledge of the paints and canvas, and years of taking raw material and applying them with such vision, passion, and skills.

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

-Aristotle

Finally, as a leader, do not accept handouts, do not be afraid to get your hands dirty, and remember that finesse will create the masterpiece.  Look now at both of your hands and ask yourself, “What am I doing with these hands, that will make me a great leader, a great parent, or a great student?”  You can be a hands on leader and truly make a difference.  Now go for it!

 

 

Not For The Faint of Heart

Do you have the heart to be an effective leader? Leadership isn’t for the faint of heart!

Nearly 735,000 Americans suffer from a heart attack each year. The rise of heart problems has opened doors for Americans to seek out healthier lifestyles, such as better eating habits, exercise programs, and taking up stress management.

Likewise, our leaders are suffering from “heart disease.”  Unhealthy habits have skyrocketed, causing a host of bad practices to prevail in the our leaders. Being a true inspirational leader is not for the faint of heart.  I believe one of the main difference between true leaders and those that have the “position,” is that the true leader has heart!

Let me give you a few healthy practices for you to begin creating a healthy heart and to get you back in shape again as a leader.

1.  Fast Food, Fried Food, and Fake Food

“Dunlap” disease and “dad bod,” has been my lot in life lately. LOL!  Fast food, fried food, and fake food has been the contributor to my “beautiful physique” these last couple years.  As I get older I become more cautious about what I eat.  I’m finding out that heart disease runs in my family.  You see, it is a big deal what food we put into our mouths.

What the leader ingests makes a big difference in how they lead.  We find that bad leaders are bad because of what they learned from other bad leaders.  Making positive “meals” each and everyday can develop us into healthy, happy, and high performing leaders.

When I say meals, what I mean is the type of information you receive and process.  Here are a few poisons that will clog your leadership arteries:

  • Negativity– Is definitely the single most poisonous substance.  It spreads and is contagious.  Negativity will drive effective leadership in the ground.
  • Micro-leading- This is the same as micro-managing, but not everyone is a working manager.  But leaders feel they have to control every aspect of everyone’s, every move.  Micro- leading will lead your team to not being efficient and never making a decision on their own.  They will wilt away and never shine their true personality and skills.
  • Bullying–  Many leaders fall in this death trap.  They become bullies and treat their followers like dirt.  Leading by fear is their M.O.  Belittling and berating your crew is the death knell to any high performing team and stunts any growth that you may have gained.

These poisons are brought on by past experiences, past mentors, and personalities that aren’t willing to change.  Lay down the “potato chips” and “sodas” that seek to destroy ability to be effective, but rather choose healthy alternatives to grow you, and promote you as a leader.

2.  “You Are Just Not Working Out”

In more way than one!  Leaders do not work out because they fail to build upon a positive foundation and develop the skills needed to be an effective leader.  These individuals are faint in heart and weak because they stopped  growing and learning.

This world needs strong leadership.  Leaders with no morals, no motivation, and no mental strength are weak.

There’s a few exercises you can do to develop the heart of leadership:

  • Resistance Training- According to sharecare.com, ” Resistance training is any exercise that causes your muscles to contract against an external resistance with the expectation of increasing muscle mass, strength and/or endurance.” As a leader we are going to face resistance and push back.  Resistance can be people, even giants we face with ourselves, or any external force for that matter.  Our ability to workout will determine our ability to “workout” as leaders.
  • Cardio Training- This is the one I hate!  Running, sweating, and that overwhelming desire to throw up!  Don’t you love it?  What does cardio do for you?  It builds endurance.  Leaders need endurance to keep them in the race. Those that lack endurance, burn out quick, get tired easily, and tend to quit           prematurely.  They are faint in heart and fall at the first sign of fatigue.  Where’s our leaders that have no quit in them?  They keep going in face of all odd.  Where are they?
  • Strength Training- If we want our heart to truly be in it we must add strength training to our repertoire.  Strength training is lifting heavy weights in hopes that our muscles get bigger and grow stronger.  Many many times as leaders we are called upon to lift heavy weights.  Quite a few leaders flake out because they aren’t strong enough to carry the load.   You do not become an effective leader overnight just like you do not look like Arnold Schwarzenegger overnight.

You must train and train hard.  Yeah, you will have days where you don’t feel like working out.  But may I encourage you to press on and develop those skills necessary to get your heart into leadership so that you will work out in the end.

3.  Courage to Change

Last, of all you need courage to change.  People with heart disease must change their whole lives to reverse the years of damage they have done to their hearts.  Change is necessary for leaders to remain relevant and respected.

People aren’t happy with the way they look physically or happy with their health.  Yet, they aren’t willing to make the changes needed to fix the problem.

I heard this a long time ago and it makes so much sense, “Keep doing the same things and you will keep getting the same results.”

“Leaders” are the same, they complain about their team, they complain about money flow, they complain pretty much about everything but themselves.  What you need, is to look in the mirror, see yourself for who you are, and be willing to simply change in the areas you are lacking, that is causing you to not have your heart into it.

Conclusion

This was kind of a long blog, but I find it necessary that we as leaders get a checkup on ourselves and be evaluated on the health of our ability to lead.  Most leader’s hearts aren’t in it and the ones that are trying don’t have the right training to be effective.  May you find yourself working out and training yourself and by other leaders to find your way to the top of your respected field.

Dustin L. Carr

http://www.thesuccessfulleader.wordpress.com

 

The Inspired Leader

Do you struggle with inspiration? Or, just need an extra shot in the arm? This article is for you.

I have a book called The Inspirational Leader, by John Adair.  This book begins by describing the need for leaders to inspire others to maximum efficiency.  To be a leader one must rally their people around the common goals that are set forth by management.  But may I say that we have few inspirational leaders, because they aren’t inspired themselves.  I want to break away from the “Anatomy of the Leader” this once and just encourage you to be inspired.  If you lack inspiration here are few helps to get you back on track.

Look For Inspiration in Everything

I was watching a show hosted by Steve Harvey, called Little Big Shots, and this boy came out in an electric wheelchair.  He was famous on the internet for his videos of him singing and rapping.  What I loved most about this kid, though he has a bone crippling disease and has every right to have a bleak outlook on life, this young man had the most positive energy and can electrify a room.  His singing was second to none and it was awesome, but his attitude was even better.  So what does this have to do with leadership?

Leadership, many times is a frame of mind.  How we think determines our actions.  Watching a young man like that makes me wonder why I grumble and complain, and feel the “drudgery” of life.  Leaders have to dig down and find something or someone that can inspire them and help them to develop a positive mindset.

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” Antoine de Saint Exupery

Oh let us lead by example, with intelligence, with confidence, but let us never fail to lead by inspiration.  What about those famous coaches that inspired teams to greatness and championships.

These coaches were hard on their men and women, they worked them to the limits, they disciplined the players that did not want to do right, but foremost they were championship coaches because they inspired their teams.

You can motivate by fear, and you can motivate by reward. But both those methods are only temporary. The only lasting thing is self motivation.        –Homer Rice

Find something that inspires you.  Enjoy the feeling.  Relish the moment.  And share it with others.

Quotes Are Not Fixes

I love quotes and I believe they are important.  Quotes are small windows into the life of geniuses that preceded before us.  They are bursts of inspirations, that may enlighten us, lift us, brighten us, and many other emotions, but may I say the most important outcome of quotes are meant to change us.

Inspiration is great, but let us use it as a tool.  Your goal as a leader is to always be changing.  Remember this, “No leader has ever inspired people to change, that were not first themselves inspired to change.”

Leaders should wake up everyday thinking, “What steps can I take today to get me to where I want to go?”  What changes can you make?  How can you bring these quotes into reality?  In your everyday grind, when you’re sweating, when your working, when your raising your kids, living the real life, you can’t live on quotes.  But when you get tired and your vision begins to wain, you have mental block, and you face a little depression, then I say break out the quotes.  Do not let quotes give you just a good feeling, but let them be the reps that builds your strength, to help you carry on.

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Inspirations

Every morning when I wake up I go into my sons bedroom and pick him up to take him to lay with his mother.  I do this for two purposes:  The first, is so my wife doesn’t have to wake up to go get him when he starts crying, so she can sleep in a little.  The second reason, is to hold him and kiss him, and to feel my inspiration.  He is my inspiration!

My wife and I could live on next to nothing cause we know how to survive.  We have eaten a lot of sandwiches and Vienna Sausages! LOL!  But when my son came along, inspiration hit me right in the heart.  I have a helpless beautiful angel that needs me to succeed and provide him the best opportunities that I possibly can.

When I need some inspiration, I unlock my phone and look at the hundred of pictures of my little man and it reminds me why I work a full time job, strive as a manager, and go to college full time to get a business management degree.  He has been to church ever since he was two days old.  I strive to be a christian and lead by example in front of my son.  Deliver messages that will hopefully get to his heart one day.

I see those pictures and it inspires me, it moves me, it changes me, it raises me, it creates hunger, drive, it’s a true deep inspiration.  Not superficial, not selfish, not temporal.  I want to leave a legacy and that’s what makes me want to be the best leader I can be.

Now, that’s what drives me, what drives you?  What inspires you?  Take a picture of it hang it up and let it raise you to new heights and burn  a blazing fire inside you!

So, when you wake up in the mornings and you feel the need to lay out of work, to not do your best, to relax or let up, DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!  BE THE INSPIRED LEADER.

Take The Quiz…I Dare You!

Before you take this quiz, consider these few thoughts I’m having:

  • What is a leader?  Answer:  A person of influence

Don’t make a leader to mean some millionaire business mogul.  A leader can be                      anyone, and since your more than likely a leader in some form or fashion, do you not            desire to be the best person of influence you can be?

  • What cause can I take up?  Answer:  Any cause!  Do you want to raise your children up to be the most successful person they can be?  Do you want to lead your congregation to fulfill their greatest potential?  Do you not desire to be the best teacher you can be?  What about your company?  Do you want your employees and business to scale heights they have never ascended before?
  • What motivates you?  You will have to answer that for yourself.  But, I challenge you to find something worth fighting for!  Worth changing for!  Worth growing for! And take it on as if you’re charging Hell with a water pistol!

OK, here is your quiz, and be honest with yourself.

  1. Are you a true leader?  Y/N
  2. Do you desire to grow others?  Y/N
  3. What’s your goals: Short term goals, 1 year from now, 10 years from now, 30 years from now
  4. Do you have plans to meet those goals?  Y/N (Write them down under your goals, be specific as possible)
  5. How’s your network of friends?  Short Answer
  6. Is your priorities in line?  Short Answer
  7. What risk have you taken lately to further yourself?  Short Answer
  8. What book/classes have you read/taken lately to educate/motivate yourself?  Short Answer
  9. Do you wish to make a difference?  (Y/N)
  10. Are you willing to be different?  (Y/N)

Write these down in your journal and be brutal, analyze, and pray.  Ask others or your spouse to be honest with you.  Please comment on my page or email me.  Would love to hear your goals and your desire to be a leader.

The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.
-Ray Croc

Dustin Carr   http://www.thesuccessfulleader.wordpress.com