One of the more valuable lessons I’ve learned in my life is how important attitude is. Whether we are talking about its impact on results, or on our relationships with others, attitude plays a role. I have to admit; I haven’t always been the best at this. Moreover, it’s something I continue to work on. For me, I’ve found engaging in self-reflection and journaling each morning helps me keep things in perspective, but sometimes my emotions get the best of me, and even the simplest things (like a Dallas Cowboys loss which happens quite often), can end up ruining my day if I let it.
My attitude is my choice. Moreover, your attitude is yours. The thing we have to realize is that negative people and adverse circumstances cannot control it. It’s up to each of us to choose the attitude we have, and ultimately the level of power we allow situations or individuals to have over us. It’s sometimes easier said than done.
Sometimes, unfortunately, life hits us square in the nose. And it hurts. And not one of us is exempt from it. Moreover, we often cannot plan for these circumstances. They happen when we least expect them. Also, if we let them, they can end up robbing us of our joy, and make us lose sight of all of the good things that are right before our eyes.
As leaders with teams of people, we can bet that at anytime someone we lead, or are close to, is in the midst of a life challenge, a bad situation, an unexpected event. And it’s our responsibility to listen, to be empathetic, and to help lead them through it. At the end of the day, what you do in your organization doesn’t stop. It’s ongoing. Your customers rely and depend upon you and the services you and your team(s) provide. In light of that, it’s all the more critical that leaders choose to have the right perspective and the right attitude when things happen to them or to those they lead. The art of leadership is getting things done with and through other people, even when it’s challenging.
I recently came across a quote that spoke to me. It merely said, “Choosing to be positive in a bad situation is not being naive. It’s choosing to be a leader.” No one exhibits this quality more than Nick Vujicic. If you don’t know who he is, make sure you watch this video. Trust me; it will be well worth your time. I had the pleasure of meeting Nick in 2016 in Orlando, Florida. I will never forget meeting him; the impact of his story on me; and the life lessons I learned from Nick – someone who has had just about all of the odds stacked against him from Day 1 and yet has found a way to succeed immensely while finding purpose in his disability. After meeting Nick, I feel completely ashamed of some of the things that I have let impact my attitude in a negative way throughout my life. I’ll refer to them as First World problems.
So, for the remainder of this article, I would like to offer you three Questions for Reflection regarding attitude, as well as a short excerpt from a book that I think will help shape our perspective about what it means to make an intentional effort to connect, to have the right attitude, and to be open to others.
Three questions to consider:
- Is your current attitude one of your greatest assets?
- Are you carving time daily for intentional thinking and self-reflection?
- Are you making challenging circumstances your friend?
Here’s the excerpt:
It is difficult to receive when your fists are clenched.
It is impossible to embrace when your arms are crossed.
It is difficult to see when your eyes are closed.
It is hard to discover when your mind is made up.
And a heart that has sealed itself off from giving has unknowingly
sealed itself off from the ability to receive…
Until next time, lead with purpose always! Someone on your team needs you to do so.
“Two things define you: your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything.” – George Bernard Shaw
Nathan R Mitchell is America’s Leading Empowerment CoachTM and the Editor of Leadership Addict. In 2010 he founded the business and leadership development company, Clutch Consulting. Nathan is also a Certified Speaker, Trainer, and Coach with The John Maxwell Team. Originally from Springfield Missouri, Nathan earned his B.S. Degree in Management and an MBA from Missouri State University. Currently, he lives near Tulsa Oklahoma with his wife and children. His purpose in life is to empower others to lead to their full leadership potential.
1. Hoyt, David. “Attitude – It’s a Choice.” The John Maxwell Company, 31 July 2014, blog.johnmaxwell.com/blog/attitude-its-a-choice.
2. MAXWELL, JOHN C. DEVELOPING THE LEADER WITHIN YOU 2.0. THOMAS NELSON PUB, 2019.