James Allen says, “As a being of thought, your dominant mental attitude will determine your condition in life. It will also be the gauge of your knowledge and the measures of your attainment. The so-called limitations of your nature are the boundary lines of your thoughts; they are self-erected fences, and can be drawn to a narrower circle, extended to a wider, or be allowed to remain.”
It’s Entirely Up to You to Decide What Attitude You Will Have
Have you worked with leaders who lack people skills and seem distant, rude, or pessimistic? Leaders with negative attitudes tend to have lower expectations, which eventually undermines the expectations of their teams; it can be a frustrating experience.
The mindset you bring to a project is the greatest factor determining the outcome, the mindset you bring to your team significantly impacts their effectiveness. Effective leaders have the self-awareness to understand the impact their attitude has on their performance and that of the people who work alongside them.
Your attitude can work for or against you if you find that your attitude needs changing the good news is it’s your choice. Self-control assures you that outside influence cannot change your attitude unless you choose to change it.
We are Where our Thoughts and Choices Have Brought Us
“Our greatest freedom is the freedom to choose our attitude.” - Viktor E. Frankl
Changing your attitude begins with self-acceptance, if you have a poor self-image, it will distort everything you see and experience. In his book “25 ways to win with people” John Maxwell notes,
“Who you are determines what you see
Who you are determines how you see life
Who you are determines how you see people
Who you are determines what you do.”
How true this is, I’m sure you’re familiar with Rabbi Shemuel ben Nachmani’s quote, “We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.” It’s so important when developing a positive mental attitude, to begin with yourself.
The Leaders Attitude Directly Impacts the Organization’s Altitude
The attitude of an organization’s leader can have a direct impact on its culture if strong enough; it impacts the mood of employees and customers/clients can feel it in the air.
Anyone can change their attitude from negative pessimistic to a positive optimistic, eventually developing a culture that contributes to employee productivity and a more inviting customer/client experience.
Harry Firestone says, “You get the best out of others when you give the best of yourself.” Here are 5 points to help you focus your thoughts and develop a healthier positive attitude;
1. Look for the Possibilities
This past April, Microsoft’s value reached $1Trillion, only the third U.S. company to reach that mark. Bill Gates learned a few things from Warren Buffett early on that serves him well. Gates looks for positive attitudes in leaders because he believes they contribute to the organization’s enduring success.
2. Believe in the Value of a Positive Attitude
I never met a pessimistic visionary; optimism is in their DNA; they can’t help believing the best opportunities still await discovery. Gates is credited with saying, “Optimism is often dismissed as false hope, but there is also false hopelessness.” Norman Vincent Peale advises, “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers, you cannot be successful or happy.”
3. Have a Disciplined Can-Do Attitude
Warren Buffett says, "The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything."
Highly successful leaders say no many more times than yes, it’s that kind of focus on who you are and what your purpose is that simplifies your life. Buffett also says that saying no is the difference between having several completed projects and a dozen half-finished. Believe you can take on and complete your most important projects on time.
4. Embrace Failures for Their Inherent Wisdom
“Failure does not define you; it’s how you handle it that does.” - JSP
It’s so important to learn from your mistakes, surround yourself with trusted friends who’ll tell you the truth when you fail so you don’t repeat them. With the advice of trusted friends, the learning curve is shortened and much smoother, and the payoff is wisdom gained. Denis Waitley says, “Mistakes are painful when they happen, but years later, a collection of mistakes is what is called experience.”
5. Accept Yourself as You are and Work on Improving Your Self-Talk
Psychologist Les Parrott says, “No matter what has happened or what will happen, we never lose our value as human beings. Nothing can take that away. Never forget that. Accept your value; How many times have you heard people say, “He has issues”? What they mean is that the person is stuck. The person is not healthy. He’s got a hang-up. He’s uncomfortable in his own skin. It’s what we psychologists are getting at when we talk about self-acceptance.”
“If your dominant mental attitude is peaceable and lovable, bliss and blessedness will follow you; if it be resistant and hateful, trouble and distress will cloud your pathway. Out of ill-will will come grief and disaster; out of good-will, healing and reparation.” – James Allen
*** This article was authored by John Picarello, Chief Leadership Officer at Lions Pride Leadership Co.***