Optimism has taken a bit of a beating over the past several years. Behavioral economists have highlighted our tendency to assume the positive in our endeavors and capabilities. The reality is that many businesses fail, many projects don’t make it off the ground and previous success is no guarantee of future success. This research combined with a global economic implosion has made us all a lot more wary. Jeff Kehoe writing for the Harvard Business Review blog argues that its time to reassert the importance of optimism. Kehoe argues that the avoidance of optimism has its own negative impacts on the economy.
I’m not talking about delusional, starry-eyed optimism, but rather the simple, clear, energetic belief in the potential success of an idea. No business can ever succeed without this factor.
Kehoe argues that this state of anti-optimism is slowing the economic recovery today. Good ideas are not being invested in, hordes of capable people are not being hired. Kehoe argues that now is a vital time to rediscover intelligent confidence in our work an business lives.