Are you the type of person who prefers to look at the world through rose-colored glasses? If so, you may be missing some important aspects of your organization’s reality. Let’s face it. It ain’t all pretty. And some parts of reality are just darn confusing. There are some facts that you may be blissfully unaware of if you don’t actively seek the unvarnished truth.

Remember our blog post about the Stockdale Paradox?

Yes, it may feel easier to just float in big picture generalities and forget about reality. But what are the benefits of turning on the fog lights to see the vivid landscape?

Keeps you from getting comfy. Good is the enemy of great, and it doesn’t take long to get complacent when things seem to going well. Don’t over-inflate the doom and gloom, but do keep a sense of urgency that is necessary for high performance.

Prevents expedient (and wrong) solutions. Quick fixes are often not that quick, since they don’t address the root of the problem. When you have a firm grasp on the entire reality, you’ll identify lasting solutions to the most critical problems.

Does not negate hope. We are all about optimism, AND it must be directed thoughtfully, with full understanding of what is going on. Blind faith that everything will work out serves no purpose. Hopeful, positive action that is aligned with your organization’s strategic priorities will win the day.

Engages imagination. Accepting the brutal reality is not an indication that you are giving up. In fact, reality is a potent springboard for launching your creative energies. With a full understanding of what you’re facing, you can activate your people’s imaginations and ingenuity to create an amazing future.

Existing in murkiness can be a real downer. Keep your sense of humor as a tool to dispel the gloom. As Herm Albright said, “A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to be worth the effort.”