Leadership Mints Series Sampler Fending Off The Debbie Downers

How many people do you know who light up the room when they leave? Those Debbie Downers and Charlie Complainers are magnets of misery always trying to pull you down.  Their pernicious pool of negativity runs deep. How deep? Well, in Roget’s Thesaurus, twice as many words focus on the negative (2,286) than on the positive (1,051). In Sisson’s Synonyms, there are:

6 times as many words that mean “to Break” as there are “to Build” (186-26)

4 times as many words that mean “Sad” as there are that mean “Glad” (110-27)

3 times as many words that mean “Bad” as there are that mean “Good” (465-150).

In The Ten Commandments “No” or “Not” is mentioned 12 times compared to only two positive commands. And twice as many people will be told about a negative experience as a positive experience, according to government customer service survey.

It’s too easy to complain, to chastise, to put yourself down the way Garfield does in the comic strip: “Do you know where I’m residing? Garfield asks. “Bored city, that’s where. But not for long, with a positive mental attitude, I can whip it. I think I’ll make a lateral move — to Self-Pity. Another comic-strip character adds to the Pity Party.

Ziggy says: “Every time opportunity knocks, I’m out in the back taking out the garbage.” And Ziggy adds: “On the highway of life I keep getting stuck in the cul de sacs”.

The most effective leaders know that it’s too easy to see ourselves as helpless, hopeless, worthless, loveless, friendless, faceless and even lifeless.

It’s too easy to growl, glower and grumble. It’s too easy to destroy what is –rather than deploy – what could be. It’s too easy to focus on the inevitability of the mediocre and never even consider the possibility of the meteoric. 

No wonder the most effective leaders embrace the notion that even though scientists can produce absolute zero temperature (-459 degrees) there is no limit on how hot something can get as long as enough energy is available. That’s what leaders do. They…

Create the energy for positive outcomes.
And light the room wherever they go!

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