Positive Intent

Malice or Ignorance?

When things don’t go as you expect, how do you react? Has some moron intentionally screwed up? Is your first reaction a negative response and judgment toward others/

PepsiCo’s chairman and CEO, Indra Nooyi, says that her father gave her this piece of advice/insight: “Always assume positive intent.

assume-positive-intentMy father was an absolutely wonderful human being. From him I learned to always assume positive intent. Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent. You will be amazed at how your whole approach to a person or problem becomes very different. When you assume negative intent, you’re angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed. Your emotional quotient goes up because you are no longer almost random in your response. You don’t get defensive. You don’t scream. You are trying to understand and listen because at your basic core you are saying, “Maybe they are saying something to me that I’m not hearing.” So “assume positive intent” has been a huge piece of advice for me. Fortune »

A friend says something similar: “I always assume ignorance not malice first.”

Myopic reactivity and a conspiracy of dunces attitude are not hallmarks of leadership. Leadership is a call to first understand and then to take positive action that benefits all.

The highest calling of leadership is to unlock the potential of others. – Carli Fiorina, Tough Choices

Change your attitude, change your life!