Attitude is not everything. But sometimes your attitude can alter your leadership success or failure. Have you ever seen athletes in almost every sports come back from a horrible loss? Maybe even a bad season? At the end of the day, leadership is not only influence but having the winning attitude.
The right attitude can determine your approach on how you view opportunities, problems and relationships in your life. Sometimes, it’s not what we do, but how we think about a situation that can determine the outcome.
We can all relate can’t we? Have you ever been in a situation that seemed very difficult and you decided to think differently? You decided to make a choice? Positive or negative, you thought this out in some way.
Attitude is power. A changes in attitude can have a tremendous impact on a person’s life. William James, one of the most respected American psychologists, said, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes.”
We can’t always adjust the situations we are in, but we can adjust our attitudes toward those situations. Charles Swindoll said it best, “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.”
When it comes being a leader, your attitude can really make a difference. A difference either way if you begin to think about it. If you are a positive leader, you will inspire and motivate the people toward a positive future. If you are a negative leader, most likely everything will go downhill.
Attitudes are not easy to change. Some attitudes are just part of our DNA. But, every successful leader understands the power of an attitude. Does it mean that leaders always have a positive attitude? No. They realize that they can alter their attitude to make a difference wherever they are.
So what are the right attitudes effective leaders have? Let’s look at five attitudes I think a great leader must possess to set themselves up for success in life:
They focus on the future
Cyrus Curtis, who owned the Saturday Evening Post had a sign hanging in his office that said, “Yesterday ended last night.” It was a great reminder for himself and his employees that the past is done, and we should be looking forward, not back. Now this doesn’t mean we forgotten about yesterday. Leaders take the lessons and the mistakes of the past as a source of learning. They take it a step further by moving on not repeat the same mistakes. They are optimistic about what the future holds and develop a positive vision for tomorrow.
They are problem-solvers
If you asked me what the difference between a leader and follower, without hesitation, I would tell you it’s how they deal with problems. Orison Swett Marden, the founder of Success Magazine, observed, “Obstacles will look large or small to you according to whether you are large or small.” What he is saying essentially is, that great leaders overcome big problems in their life. The bigger the challenge, the bigger the leader.
They view failure differently
Successful leaders view failures and setbacks very differently. They don’t let failure define them. Your attitude toward failure can really prevent you from achieving the success you desire in your life. Great leaders view failure as temporary and a step stone to success. Napoleon Hill, one of the pioneers of personal-success literature said, “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” Successful leaders take failures not as setbacks, but seek to extract valuable information to help them succeed.
They take feedback constructively
The leaders with the right attitude have an open mind. They don’t think they have all the answers. They seek feedback and suggestions from the people around them. Erwin G. Hall observed, “An open mind is the beginning of self-discovery and growth. We can’t learn anything new until we can admit that we don’t already know everything.” Real leaders are learners. They have a beginner’s mindset that allows them to be curious and hungry for effective ways to do lead.
They believe in people
Being a successful leader involves relationships. Your attitude toward people and relationships can make a difference. Why is it so important? If you feel that people are burden and you are always complaining about people, than you might have to shift your perspective.
Successful leaders understand that the most valuable assets are people. Every leader must have the right attitude about the people they lead. It’s the key factor in developing and empowering your employees to success. Your attitudes about your team will determine how you treat them and whether they can trust you as their leader.
James Allen, the best-selling author of the book, “As a man thinketh”, captures attitudes this way:
“Just as a gardener cultivates his plot, keeping it free from weeds, and growing the flowers and fruits which he requires, so may a man tend the garden of his mind, weeding out all the wrong, useless, and impure thoughts, and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and fruits of right, useful, and pure thoughts.
By pursuing this process, a man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life. He also reveals, within himself, the laws of thought, and understands, with ever-increasing accuracy, how the thought-forces and mind elements operate in the shaping of his character, circumstances, and destiny.”