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Is Anything Ever Accomplished By A Pessimist?

| October 29, 2013 | 0 Comments

A post on Twitter by the great speaker and author, Billy Cox, quoted former General Electric Chairman and CEO, Jack Welch as saying:

“Nothing of any importance has ever been accomplished by a pessimist.”

To me, this rings true. After all, by their very nature, they tend not to accomplish but rather stay personally stationary and even stifle the creativity of others.optimist pessimist

Of course, that’s not necessarily always bad. There are certainly times that pessimists have kept optimists from advancing ideas that would have failed…or at least causing the optimist to slow down long enough to reconsider and improve certain actions. Or, just be a welcome sounding board.

It’s well-known that Roy Disney very effectively served in this capacity to his brother, Walt. And, on a much smaller level, I used to personally run some of my potentially hair-brained ideas past a very wise pessimist I knew. If he thought it was a good idea, then I pretty much knew it was! LOL

So, sure; pessimists have their place in providing “that other side” and keeping the overly-optimistic creatives from doing counter-productive things.

But, let’s take Mr. Welch’s above statement and put it in question form:

Is anything of importance ever actually accomplished or “created” by a pessimist?

Personally, I can’t think of any examples. Not one.

Can you? Please share your examples of such (if any) and your thoughts. I’m optimistic… that this could be an interesting discussion.



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Category: Personal Lessons From Giving Value

About the Author ()

Bob Burg is an inspirational speaker on topics vital to the success of today’s businessperson. He is a published author, and a founding board member of Club 100, a charitable organization focused on helping underprivileged local area youths. He is an animal lover over and past member of the Board of Directors of Safe Harbor, the Humane Society of Jupiter, Florida. To learn more about him, visit his website,

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