As I contemplate past successes and failures in the Navy and the corporate world, I am reminded of a common thread intertwined between all the victories. Simply stated, there is an expectation of success that comes with individual and group optimism.
Optimism, of course, must be balanced with reality and questions such as: Are we trained? Are we ready? Is our plan complete? and Do we have sufficient resources to commit to the plan? Those questions must be answered prior to acting. But once answered, the primary key to success is expecting victory.
We can smell optimism. It defines winners! Each of us remembers classic sports events that highlighted stunning victories by underdogs who were optimistic. We recall the spirit of optimism in Olympic swimmer Mark Spitz as he predicted before the 1972 Olympics his take of seven gold medals, or the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team that defeated the seemingly indomitable Soviet squad. For Spitz and the hockey champions there was an expectation of victory and an optimistic view of the outcome!