During the Olympics, one of the gymnasts made a misstep and took a fall. Now this in and of itself is not good, but the admirable thing is that 99% of the time, the athletes get right back up and go again as if it had never happened. Not this time. That one brief gesture said, “I give up.” And sure enough, when she did resume, she repeatedly made some pretty huge errors.
Was it because she wasn’t qualified or talented? Not at all. It really did boil down to one thing: attitude.
Attitude can make or break success.
Attitudes affect us individually. But their real power lies in the fact that they also influence the world around us. So as you can imagine, this particular incident and others similar to it and resulting from it made for a particularly “off” night in that arena. There was just no energy. It was as if all the teams were having a collective shoulder slump.
Contrast that to situations you’ve seen where one person nails it. This person is at the top of his or her game – strong, engaged, focused, and excited. What does that do to the rest of the team? It spreads a wave of excitement and success in others. You can just feel it. It is contagious.
I find it very interesting that in aviation terms, attitude is how they measure a plane’s orientation in relation to other things (like the ground, for instance). If the attitude is out of adjustment, the pilot will work to bring it back into proper balance. It’s been said that “attitude determines your altitude.” This is true in aviation…and in life. As leaders we need to navigate through the challenges with an openness to learn from each experience.
Good attitudes are hard to find and hard to cultivate, but as leaders we must always strive to be at the top of our respective games. Others are counting on us. Circumstances do not make attitudes. We make attitudes. Actually, this is a good thing, because we can’t always control our circumstances; but we CAN control our attitudes.
I don’t know about you, but I love being around folks with good attitudes. This doesn’t mean their lives are perfect – in fact, those who have good attitudes through tough times absolutely inspire me. A stellar example of this is Chris Gardner, whose story is depicted in the movie, “The Pursuit of Happyness”. His can-do, never-give-up attitude is amazing.
So check the mirror. Are your shoulders slumped? Take a deep breath, stand tall, get right back to where you left off, and set the tone for those who follow. You have the power to succeed, and to lead others to success right along with you.
Let’s face it, we all have attitudes.
As Leaders, it behooves us to make sure they’re good ones!
I would like to invite you to join us in our online community where you can turn your leadership slump around… http://www.StrengthLeaderMentor.com