The Optimistic Devil’s Advocate

8 02 2016

“Don’t ever become a pessimist… a pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun, and neither can stop the march of events.” ~Robert Heinlein

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity.  The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” ~ Winston Churchill

Many of the people might not believe it, but I am a natural optimist.  The reason they might not think so is because I also play the devil’s advocate role much of the time.  When they come to me with some forecast, I might poke holes in it, by asking “what happens when something goes wrong?”  I think it’s important to have a plan B, and a plan C, so that when something happens that you hadn’t planned for in plan A, you’re ready with a quick “Yep, I thought of that… we’ll do this.”

Leaders, don’t mistake having a series of plans with being a pessimist.  Once you’ve planned out the worst case, then don’t forget to put back on that optimist hat, and be the cheerleader.  “Yes, team, we have a forecast, and we’re going to hit those numbers!  What resources and support do you need to get there?”  Rah rah, and all that stuff!

Speaking of optimist…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.




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