Leadership Series: Common Traits of Successful Leaders. Trait #7 Positive Mental Outlook

Rich Habits
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A Positive Mental Outlook was a common trait shared by many of the Successful Leaders in my Rich Habits Study.

Why is having a Positive Mental Outlook so important to succeeding as a Leader?

When you wallow in Negativity, your fight or flight centers of the brain, located in the Limbic System and Brain Stem, light up. When this happens, these two brain systems are able to coopt or overwhelm the Prefrontal Cortex, causing it to slow down. If there is too much Negativity, it can even cause the Prefrontal Cortex to partially shut down, allowing the Limbic System and Brain Stem complete control over the brain.

When this happens, our ability to focus narrows to the point where most external sensory input is ignored. We focus on nothing but the negativity. effectively shutting down one third of the brain – the Prefrontal Cortex, which oversees awareness, sound decision-making, insight, creativity and problem-solving.

This means, when you maintain a Negative Mental Outlook, you lose your ability to use your creatively to solve problems, you also lose your awareness regarding opportunities that present themselves and you are unable to make logical, sound decisions.

Leaders who are able to maintain a Positive Mental Outlook, are better able to handle everyday stress. These individuals have their entire brain working for them. They are more creative and the beneficiaries of something called insight. Insight is that spark of genius that solves seemingly intractable problems with one thought.

Successful Leaders have forged the Rich Habit of staying positive during stressful situations. They understand that positivity is the springboard of all creativity, insight and good decision-making and that maintaining a Positive Mental Outlook expands their thinking, opening up their entire brain, which improves their ability to lead, make sound decisions, solve problems and overcome adversity.