In February, I broke down GOLD’s first core value, accountability and responsibility, and how these words inspire us to be more committed to our work. This week, I’m diving into GOLD’s second core value, which is: I will think and act in a positive, optimistic, proactive, and calm manner in ordinary as well as challenging situations.

At GOLD, we take pride in hiring employees that we believe will embody and identify with all of our core values, and our second core value is no exception. In fact, it’s one we lean on quite often. 

On the surface, this core value may seem like a simple one to live and breathe, but when you take a deeper look at each individual word, it can get a bit more challenging. For instance, right off the bat, my eyes are drawn to the words “think” and “act.” It’s one thing to be able to quickly put on a brave face and act in a positive, optimistic, proactive, and calm manner, but quite another to think in those ways, too. 

It can be easy for our minds to go to a negative place, especially when we’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed. But that’s where it’s up to us to turn the situation around. 

Stay Positive 

We all know the saying, “Positivity is contagious,” and those three words really speak the truth! Whether you work remotely or at the office, we spend quite a bit of our time working, so it’s completely normal to want to feel a sense of happiness and positivity throughout the workday. 

It’s easy to stay positive at work 100% of the time, right? If only it were that simple! Being positive is more than just a friendly smile or asking someone to be happy. Positivity is much deeper than that, and maintaining a positive attitude and mindset takes work. You’re bound to have good days, bad days, and days where you feel defeated, but it’s all about perspective. 

A positive mindset can directly translate into your work and help you be more successful in your role. A good or bad mood can affect you, your coworkers, and the company as a whole, so it’s crucial to be conscious of your thoughts and actions. Positivity increases mood, boosts productivity, and reduces stress. 

Set expectations for your employees and encourage them to practice making positivity a priority. You’ll notice them blossom as they grow in confidence, feel more invested and productive in their work, and enjoy collaborating with team members to achieve common goals. 

Remain Optimistic 

Positivity and optimism are very similar, but optimism takes positivity a step further.  

An optimistic workplace is welcoming and encouraging, and optimistic individuals are hopeful, determined, and motivated. 

When you encourage optimism at work, your employees will feel determined to push themselves and each other to be better. Optimists look to not only improve their own careers, but what they can do to improve the organization overall. An optimistic team drives each other to be more engaged, pushes each other to reach individual and company goals, and embraces challenges with an “I can do it” attitude. 

Let’s face it, you’re bound to face challenges at work. Some days are going to be harder than others, but it’s up to us to shift our mentality. If something doesn’t go our way or how you’d imagined, of course, the easy thing to do would be to give up. But instead, optimists look at these kinds of challenges as opportunities. Simply put, they refuse to give up, and instead, kick their can-do attitudes into high gear. Optimists are persistent and determined to figure out solutions that are destined to lead them to a path of success. When you encourage optimism in the workplace, your organization will flourish. 

Be Proactive 

Proactive individuals can have a positive influence on your company as a whole, and it’s up to us to set the stage. 

As leaders, first and foremost, it’s our responsibility to empower and encourage our employees to take initiative and have a go-getter mentality. When our teams recognize that they have our full trust and support, they’ll feel more confident and comfortable to take initiative and seek out opportunities to accomplish their tasks and goals before it’s asked of them. 

Employees that value and understand proactivity are more likely to create opportunities for themselves, plan ahead, act as problem solvers and decision makers, and strive for success. Proactivity ensures that deadlines are being met and goals are being reached, which leads to increased efficiency within your organization.

Keep Calm 

Ever feel like everything’s falling apart at work and you’re not quite sure how to pick up the pieces? I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Keep calm and carry on” before, and it’s one that can certainly be applied to your work. Whether we like to admit it or not, we’ve all faced some sort of difficulty or pressure at work, but it’s crucial to stay calm, cool, and collected. 

In times of stress, panic, or utter frustration, staying calm and controlling your emotions while remaining professional shows your team that you have the ability to work under pressure. When we encounter a difficult project or person, it’s a natural tendency for our minds to go into panic or defense mode. So it can be a challenge to react appropriately, especially in the heat of a moment. Let your team know that it’s okay (and completely normal) to have those “whoa” moments. You can recommend that they take a minute to breathe, walk away from their desk, and compose themselves and their thoughts before responding or getting back to their tasks.

Keeping a clear head and mind during difficult situations can be challenging but is critical to your work performance and professional career.

Thoughts Affect Actions 

Remember, your thoughts affect your actions. It’s important to actively train our minds to think and act in a more positive, optimistic, proactive, and calm manner, and once we’re on that track, we begin to see things clearly again. Your feelings at work can have a significant impact on the way you think and act. And once you feel more in control of your thoughts and actions, you and your team will be on a clear path to success.

I’ll be back again next month for core value number 3!  


Cheryl Bartholomew

Cheryl Bartholomew

Cheryl is the President & CEO at GOLD since 2009 and has over 36 years of banking experience. She ensures the happiness of all Members through positive experiences that exceed their expectations, regardless of whether it's a simple phone call, electronic transaction, or face-to-face interaction. She strives to provide a positive work environment for her employees so they continue to go above and beyond for Members. She works closely with Member Volunteers (Board of Directors and Supervisory Committee) and makes sure they feel appreciated for their contributions in setting up our Members for success. Cheryl believes that all Members can be empowered to take control of their financial well-being, and she's proud to say that we at GOLD are confident in helping them do that.

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