I've been thinking recently about the power of positive and negative thinking, and how it relates to a management team. One of the things that's become very clear for me in my last few months of consulting is how important a very positive outlook is within the management team for the health and growth of a company.
Basically, a management team serves to provide leadership and direction to the people within a company. If the management team takes on a positive outlook, leading others to greater growth, exciting opportunities and new adventures, the team will adopt that philosophy and work hard to achieve it. This is NOT to say that being overly optimistic will create a firm that will follow you through fire, but the power of positive thinking by the management team is catching.
So too, however, is the reverse. Management teams that are constantly questioning, constantly afraid of change and of new risks or new opportunities create a ceiling for the growth of the company, and impact the thinking and risk taking of the organization. Without realizing it, a management team that is too conservative or too cynical or too pessimistic breeds and reinforces that thinking within its organization, thus creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
So, your attitudes when managing can be a throttle - in both the positive and negative definitions of the word. Positive attitudes, reinforcing hard work and rewarding the right failures will obtain more buy-in and will help your company step on the gas - or open up the throttle. Negative reinforcement, fear of risk or pessimism in your management team will filter down and create fear, uncertainty and doubt. This creates the alternative definition of throttle - meaning to choke off the windpipe.
Your attitudes and outlook matters as an executive or leader of a team. In most cases, the team adopts and adapts to the outlook and perspective of the leader. What is your leadership style and perspective? Are you helping people "step on the gas" or is your management style choking off initiative?