In researching this topic, I came across a Harvard Business School Working Knowledge article titled: Ruthlessly Realistic: How CEOs Must Overcome Denial. You can find it by clicking here.
One of the authors, Richard Tedlow, says, "Accentuating the positive for employees or others is not denial, as long as you yourself are fully confronting reality. In fact, there may be times when it is prudent, even necessary, to put on a brave face.
On the other hand, convincing yourself that things are better than, or different from, what they really are is never prudent, and often disastrous. So the key is to be ruthlessly realistic with oneself."
What about you -- do you balance accentuating the positive while also being ruthlessly realistic with yourself?
How do you communicate enough realism to ensure employees are committed to finding solutions to current problems while still showing a brave face?