The Participation Blog

Your Optimism May Be A Problem

Working with people in leadership positions reveals an interesting conundrum related to credibility with communities. Leaders more often see themselves as cheerleaders for the projects that they manage. That zeal, however, makes it difficult for them to empathize with those who don’t see those projects quite as positively, which creates a disconnect and conflict. So, optimistic leaders look at the naysayers as “not team players” or obstructionists. As is often the case with these stories, the following is written from an internal organization perspective, but it doesn’t take much imagination to see how it also relates to perceptions of the public.