Half full or half empty – as a leader, how should we look at the world?

I was really interested to read the recent post by Channel 4 CEO Alex Mahon about how she and her team are looking to navigate the current lockdown Working practice changes at Channel 4

So much of what Alex and leaders like her are doing to lead their businesses through this period of more unknowns than knowns positively resonates with me. But as a leader/influencer should we be looking to lead with a little more positivity? If we are seen to be pessimistic and down then won’t this potentially negatively influence the mindset of those we lead?

Yes these are undoubtedly challenging times – one look/listen to the news drums this home on a daily basis. But as leaders/influencers, isn’t it our role to suck it up and look to be more positive to those we lead, influence and care for.

I appreciate that for some ‘working in isolation is ineffective, lonely and breeds anxiety’ and we have an obligation to support and protect their wellbeing and mental health. But on the flip side, enforced changes in the way we work have provided an opportunity and empowered many to gain back control and ownership of their lives by not having to fit in with outdated working practices (i.e. having to be in an office when there is little to no commercial reason to be there (full-time)).

Please do not think I’m being critical in any way here of Emma as a leader. For me, Channel 4’s move to no meeting Fridays and daily lunch breaks is all about positive leadership in delivering relevance in the new way of work. But using the planned changes at Channel 4 as an example, I wanted to explore how to ‘sell’ leadership decisions in a different way – i.e more positively!

‘working in isolation is ineffective, lonely and breeds anxiety’ versus ‘as a creative business we want to empower your wellbeing and creativity, so we’re looking to give you time not to schedule things. Time to think, breathe, catch-up and space to be creative.’

With many expecting the current UK lockdown to extend far beyond the mid-February review, the continued world of remote working is here to stay.

Being critical of myself, maybe I’m just naïve in looking to see the world as I do in a more half full rather than a half empty way. What do I know? What I do passionately believe is that as a leader, realistic and relevant positivity breeds positivity in those you lead on #yourjourneyahead

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