04/30/2014 11:28 am ET Updated Jun 30, 2014

How to Be Positive and Realistic, at the Same Time

Kathy Cramer is a psychologist and leadership consultant who specializes in helping leaders and their teams make small shifts in thinking to produce large impacts. She is also the author of the new book "Lead Positive: What Highly Effective Leaders See, Say & Do." Cramer spoke with Tom Fox, a guest writer for On Leadership and vice president for leadership and innovation at the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service. Fox also heads up their Center for Government Leadership.

Q. What do you consider to be the top skills that create long-term success as a leader in government?

A. I think optimism and confidence are two assets that really help a leader go the distance. I also believe the ability to empathize and inspire are key. Lastly, when looking at a leader in a time of crisis, it is important for employees to see a high degree of resilience. This is proof that a leader can be proactive after a big setback.