Optimism Is Not Enough To Solve The Worlds’ Economic Crisis

By: Curtis Ophoven 0 Comments   8/18/2011

Today’s leaders are products of the fabricated economic boom and are the wrong leaders for the economic crisis we face.

The leadership style of “optimism in anything” does not solve real problems and todays leaders that continue this style will lose their influence. 

The leadership style of “optimism in anything” is to remain optimistic and ignore all evidence to the contraire, in order to try to stay focused on what is going well with little consideration to the source of the problems.

This leadership style puts “faith” in time and luck.  The idea is that with time something good is bound to come around. In Obama’s words on his recent bus tour “we will get through this together”.

This leadership strategy works very well when the periods of trouble are relatively short, or in the case of financial troubles when the recessions are short.  As long as the period of time that things go wrong is short, they can quickly move their optimism from one idea to the next until they find something that appears to be growing or increasing to support their optimism and maintain their influence.

Decades of a booming economy has propelled leaders with this style into leadership positions all over the world.  You can find them at the top of businesses, governments, not-profit organizations, churches, schools, hospitals, the media,etc.

Short recessions do not demand leaders to have solid reasoning to support their ideas.  As a result, many of the leaders of today are not prepared for the leadership demands of our current economic situation.  Their training that has produced results throughout their career, which is to remain optimistic for optimistic sake until the storm blows by, does not solve real problems.  

As the global economy continues to unravel, nation after nation is losing confidence in their governments’ ability to solve the problems they are facing, as the riots indicate.  The old strategies of leadership, based on remaining optimistic do not work in a sustained financial crisis.

Without any signs of improvement each failed promise causes the public to lose more confidence in their leaders.  The leaders that continue to put the hope in the next technology, bailout, lower interest rates, policy change, etc. are losing their influence and will soon be replaced with new leaders.

The first couple of times the public is willing to overlook and give the leader the benefit of the doubt as perhaps they didn’t have enough information or were not in control of something that happen that they couldn’t foresee, but as the economy continues to weaken and the things hoped for never materialize the people begin to realize that their leader’s strategy of remaining optimistic is not actually going to change the situation in any meaningful way.

The failure of the “optimism in anything” leadership style compounds with each failure until it creates the opposite effect of confidence. When the leader gives a clear indication that they are confidence and committed to an idea, just as they were with the last idea that completely failed, it becomes transparent that they have no good reason for the confidence they are projecting.

Their word of confidence becomes a sure bet that the idea is going to fail and therefore translates into the hearts of the people as a lack of confidence.  This is fully experienced when the greater the leader promotes their confidence in an idea the greater the drop in confidence in the public.

Optimism Is Leadership

Some would argue that optimism is leadership, because without it a leader cannot energize the people to motivate them to do the work that needs to get done.

I agree, optimism is leadership, but optimism need to be founded in true knowledge so that the ideas that a leader commits its people to result in success.  Failure to produce results points to a misguided leader.

There is good reason for the leadership style of “optimism in anything” that has become popular in our generation.  It takes a positive vision to motivate people and guide them along a common set of goals or ideas. It takes a positive view of the future to lead a business or ministry or group of people.  And without a positive view of the future leaders cannot sustain their influence or remain in power. But “optimism in anything” does not hold up, because its faith is not founded in true understanding.

The deepening recession creates a problem for today’s leaders, because as the recession deepens there are fewer and fewer signs of evidence to base one’s optimism upon. Yet, it is critical for leaders to remain optimistic.

True Confidence

True confidence only comes from one place. True confidence comes from faith in God’s understanding which is found in scripture, because he has already predicted the future and his Words are unchangeable and stand forever (Luke 21:33). 

God is alive and well and in control. A true leader finds wisdom when they look to God to discover what He is doing, so that they can come up with a vision for the future with faith and confidence in God – rather than luck.

Without communicating with God, through prayer and studying the scriptures, it is not possible to have a vision for the future or to understand what to be confidence and optimistic in.

This is a time for new leaders, whose confidence is based on what the Lord is doing.  Few nations are listening to the Lord or have studied what he has revealed, which is why they are unable to find true leaders and their current leaders cannot solve their problems.  

Scripture tells us that “When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.”(Proverbs 29:2).

This tells us what kind of leaders we have today and what kind of leaders we need in the future before we will see rejoicing. Righteous leaders find guidance in the Lord, in which they are able to solve real problems and create a vision for the future that is based on true understanding.

The book of Timothy tells us that in the last days, the world will have leaders that act confident but deny the only true source of confidence. Leaders will be “having a form of godliness but denying its power” - 2 Timothy 3:5

True confidence does not come from popularity or riches, which quickly fade.  The power of confidence comes from knowing what God is doing so that you can lead by preparing and protecting your followers from the dangers ahead, while showing them what is truly positive from the situation they face. 

This is true leadership, and the world is void of these leaders in this generation, which is by the way no mistake.  The Lord knows what he is doing and is in complete control.

The dangers are real, because without true leaders there is no vision and without a vision, people perish. “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy is he" – (Proverbs 29:18).

Optimism is not enough to solve the worlds’ economic crisis. We need leaders that know Christ and we need to convince others to support these leaders.

One thing to be optimistic about is that we have these leaders in our nation. It is interesting to read about the stories in the bible where nations face seemingly impossible situations, yet God always provided a way out (1 Cor 10:13), which put a demand on the people to turn from their ways and put their faith in God.

America has a way out. We have leaders who trust God, perhaps more than any other nation in the world.  The question is will we take God’s way out, turn from our ways and put our faith back in God?   

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