What is the best of four distinct attitudes to bring to your work? 

Being optimistic is very attractive to others. There's also being realistic, which can make it less likely that optimism will lead one to doing things that don’t work out.

An attitude of pessimism can really bog down a company. And a company with a leader who is cynical is stuck in the muck and very unlikely to ever get out of it.

Looking at these four attitudes as a continuum, I suggest most successful businesses have a leader whose mindset is somewhere between optimistic and realistic. There is a palpable sense of forward-thinking moderated by the lessons learned. This measured response to the possible allows all in the company to feel that they are moving towards success.

Where do you see yourself? If you tend to be pessimistic or cynical, your company will never do as well as you want it to. Catch yourself being closer to optimistic, and watch the performance of the people you lead and manage improve.