Whether I am hiring a brand new manager or promoting an internal candidate into a leadership role, there is one quality I am constantly searching for in my leadership team: optimism.
Positive leaders have an arsenal of strengths when it comes to rallying a team through tough times. Often uniquely likable and approachable, having optimistic managers is a vital asset in helping you identify the underlying strengths of your business and company culture.
As an increasing number of businesses pivot away from the traditional office and begin to undertake the tricky task of learning to manage a fully remote team, here are five reasons why hiring and promoting optimistic leaders can help navigate the transition to working from home.
1. Optimism inspires optimism
Transitioning your team to remote work comes with a new set of challenges, from low staff morale to head-pounding Internet connection issues. Optimistic leaders have a natural ability to remain calm and positive through it all which can easily ripple throughout your team.
Research suggests that pessimistic leaders have a harder time motivating their employees to achieve their goals, while optimistic leaders remain confident, positive, and hopeful. By having the ability to see challenges as opportunities, these leaders can ease any building tension and foster a new culture of adaptability and collaboration to solve any hurdles that are bound to arise while moving to a home office setup.
2. Optimistic leaders are primed to pivot
Businesses have had to pivot their yearly strategies and campaigns due to Covid-19 and rising economic concerns. While it can be frustrating to have to put an exciting project on hold or dramatically change your yearly plans, hiring managers with a positive outlook can inspire your entire team to be excited to mix things up and come to the table with innovative and creative solutions.
While it's always a good idea to have more level-headed team members look over the logistics of a new change or pivot, optimistic leaders are primed to inspire your team to get creative when trying to find your company's next big idea.
3. Positive leaders make great remote communicators
With your once close-knit team now working remotely, the communication lines you have worked for years to build need to change quickly which can radically alter your company culture. Because optimistic leaders crave connection, they will likely be one of the first to seek out new and engaging ways of communicating with remote staff.
From gratitude focused Slack channels to Zoom birthday parties, optimistic leaders will continue to find new ways to check in with their team to make sure everyone feels valued and appreciated, and that they have all the tools they need to be successful.
4. Micromanaging just isn't their style
When leading a remote team for the first time, it can be natural to want to check in with employees every hour to make sure they are staying on task and keeping on track of their daily to-dos. However, as anyone who has ever reported to a micromanager can attest, this level of over-the-top leadership doesn't actually help anyone.
By nature, optimistic leaders trust their team and have confidence that they are doing what needs to be done while working remotely. As businesses transition from the establishing phase of setting up a new remote work initiative to being successful long term, having trust in your employees will become paramount as it frees management up to work on their own tasks and tackle the bigger picture issues.