The Lift of Spirit

The future does belong to the tough-minded optimists, it has to be. No pessimist could survive the necessary challenges of building stuff that matters.

via HBR:

“The future is not shaped by people who don’t really believe in the future,” Gardner said. Rather, “it is created by highly motivated people, by enthusiasts, by men and women who want something very much or believe very much.”

The best leaders have all sorts of skills and use all kinds of techniques, he observed, but there is no substitute “for the lift of spirit and heightened performance that comes from strong motivation.”

A few additional notes from the article that I chewed on for a bit:

The most successful companies don’t just sell competitive products and services; they stand for important ideas, ideas that shape the future direction of their fields, ideas that reshape the sense of what’s possible for customers, colleagues, and investors.

In regards to being distinct and competitive:

It’s good to be efficient and professional; it’s essential to be memorable and meaningful. This emotional connection — between organizations and their people, between brands and their customers — creates positive energy even in negative environments.

There’s a great balance between being fluid in the right ways and being consistent on the things that are immutable:

If you want to be a tough-minded optimist, then your priorities have to stay consistent in good times and bad.

When I think about what we’re trying to put together for TOMO I think about this blend.