Guest Post: What Is Working Here?


This week I have the pleasure of hosting a guest blog from Dr. Kathy Cramer. I just finished reading her new book Lead Positive: What Highly Effective Leaders See, Say, and Do. Her approach of seeing the positive, or assets, in difficult situations is something that I try to do. It is sometimes easier to focus on the negative and start a downward spiral of what is going wrong. Dr. Cramer’s book gives practical methods and ways to incorporate Asset-Based Thinking into everyday situations.

Look for the positive…see the opportunities around you instead of problems.

The following blog was originally published on January 16, 2014 at

One of the founding principles of Asset-Based Thinking (ABT) is tuning into the best of what is happening in the moment. That way, even when you are mired in the depths of a negative situation, you are still primed to find the potential asset — it’s always there! — that you can leverage to move forward.

The key is to begin noticing everything around you that is really working, clicking, connecting. Any time you feel positive momentum, stop for a moment. Ask yourself: What is working here? What do I want to keep doing? Invite responses from the people you are collaborating with. Often, people don’t even know the good that they are doing until you force them to step out of the moment for a second to think about it. And when your people are basking in the glow of their good efforts, they are motivated to do better and more.

Scan, Snap, Savor is one of my favorite ABT exercises to help you take in the good of a given moment. Below is a brief outline of this simple mindset management exercise works.

Step 1: Scan
Look for the positive facts that are happening, be it your own leadership strengths that are moving things forward; the behaviors, skills, and contributions that other people are making; or maybe even the situational dynamics working in your favor.

Step 2: Snap
Zero in on just one of the positive facts from your scan. Aim your mind’s camera at that fact and then “snap” the shutter to capture it and burn it into your memory.

Step 3: Savor
Once you have “snapped” the image of that positive, present-moment fact, turn it into a lasting positive experience. Re-live your internal experience of the moment. How do you feel? Grateful? Enthusiastic? Optimistic? Resourceful?

Spend 30 to 60 seconds dwelling on the positive emotions associated with that fact. Savor it. In less than 90 seconds, you have:

• Allowed yourself a brief, but energetic pause
• Shifted the way you see yourself, others, and the situation at hand in a more positive direction
• Primed yourself to see and seize the opportunities right in front of you

What leadership moments can you recall that were worth scanning, snapping, and savoring?

Why not take a moment to do a retroactive scan, snap, savor?

About the Author

Kathryn D. Cramer, PhD, is passionate about possibilities and potential. Emmy-winner, business consultant, psychologist, and author, Dr. Cramer has written nine books, including the best-selling Change the Way You See Everything. She created and has dedicated her life to asset-based thinking (ABT), a way of looking at the world that helps leaders, influencers, and their teams make small shifts in thinking to produce extraordinary impact. Her latest book, Lead Positive: What Highly Effective Leaders See, Say & Do (Jossey-Bass, 2014), shows leaders how to increase their effectiveness through her revolutionary mindset management process, Asset-Based Thinking.
Follow Kathy on Twitter @drkathycramer and connect on Facebook.

One comment

  1. Steve Borek – Baldwinsville, NY – Since we're all going to die, what do you want to do with the time between now and when that day comes? I'm an Executive and Leadership Coach who works with clients worldwide. My firm is End Game Business. Work with me. The people you lead will be raving fans. Your customers will say they'd be out of their minds to do business with anyone but you. My professional coaching certifications are PCC, BCC, and CUCG. I've coached over 275 people, over 2K hours, in a half dozen countries. What's your end game?
    Steve Borek says:

    I luve the Scan, Snap, Savor analogy.

    In fact, today I woke up with the intention of eating wholesome foods. Vegetables, fruit, etc. My energy level is high and I’m relaxed.

    I’m cognizant of seeing the best in others, even sometimes, myself. I’ll do a better job of savoring each morsel of greatness starting now.

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