Great leadership depends on possibility thinking. If we hear someone say that something is impossible, it almost always guarantees that it won’t be attempted, and if there is no attempt, there can be no achievement. Leaders must be optimistic realists, who approach every challenge looking to how to get it done, and not reasons why something cannot be done. Very little is impossible if we don’t let ourselves to view it that negative way. Remember the immortal words of Audrey Hepburn, who said, “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”
Henry Ford is often quoted as saying that “You can think you can or you can think you can’t. Either way, you’ll be correct.” However, as true as this is to each of us in our everyday life, it is even more relevant for leaders. How a leader perceives and conceives a situation often determines his response. But, it is the rare, true leader whose possibility thinking is so proactive and integral to his behavior that he plans in advance, and not waiting to respond. When a leader looks at challenges or potential challenges as mere obstacles to discuss and overcome, he dictates his behavior and not having obstacles and challenges become problems, and problems become paralyzing dictators. Believing in the possible is far more than merely putting on rose-colored glasses, and being a mindset of denial, but rather understanding fully the situation, yet coming up with real solutions, and taking the steps, and putting forth the necessary action to get things done.
A leader can sense malaise and act so, being merely a purveyor of gloom and doom. However, a true leader raises the spirits of those around him, by pointing out what needs to be done to discuss the dispiriting issues, and assure they are addressed proactively into the future. If someone in a position of leadership believes something necessary is impossible, he probably should not be a leader in the first place. True leaders can never be led by their fears and trepidations, but rather must focus on what needs to be done, and alternatives that can get the organization to where they need to be.
Are you a positive, possibility leader? Do you seek long – term solutions, address issues proactively and never think of problems, but rather challenges that need to be overcome? Only when a leader never believes that things are impossible can he be effective and meaningfully lead.