How to Develop Pragmatic Optimism as a Leader with Dr. Daniel Monehin



What type of leader are you when faced with a crisis? Are you an optimist, or pessimist, or do you personalize the crisis? How you show up in a time of crisis is a strong predictor of the quality of the leadership that you have.

In this episode of the Inspirational Leadership podcast, I speak with Dr. Daniel Monehin, a leadership keynote speaker and adjunct professor. He uniquely combines real-world global leadership experience and rigorous empirical research. Dr. Daniel has had a 30-year career where he has held various leadership roles in diverse businesses, from start-ups to global businesses across wide-ranging industries.

Listen in to learn why you can never sidestep crisis response as a leader, plus how to develop the skill of pragmatic optimism. You will also learn the importance of taking a pause and asking questions to understand a crisis in your organization instead of being dismissive.

Key Takeaways:

  • The power of being compelling in your message as a leader to influence people.
  • How to take a pause and make your emotional side conscious to be able to lead with it.
  • Learn to ask questions and be informed before you dismiss a crisis as a leader.
  • How to harness goodwill from your people during a crisis by learning to externalize your feelings about it in a believable way.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • [3:32] How Daniel researched the different areas of leadership to write his book The Pragmatic Optimist.
  • [7:00] How he developed his compelling ability, credibility, and academic expertise to be a great leader.
  • [19:02] The three things you need to understand to heighten self-awareness and recognize crises.
  • [23:01] How to lead with conscious emotional thinking instead of rational thinking.
  • [26:38] The skills to develop as a leader to reinforce your ability to respond to a crisis.
  • [34:58] Why you should take a pause, ask questions, and understand a crisis instead of dismissing it.
  • [39:05] Why you need to create the willingness to fight in your people during a crisis.
  • [43:48] How to create pragmatic optimism during a crisis by pulling the optimists and pessimists together.

Standout Quotes:

  • “In leadership development, if people don’t believe you, they’re not going to take your message.”– Dr. Daniel
  • “You cannot delegate crisis response as a leader, actually, crisis is nothing other than a test of leadership.”– Dr. Daniel [28:14]

Resources Mentioned:

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