***This article is inspired by chapter 6 of John C. Maxwell’s book
“Developing the Leader Within You 2.0” – “The Extra Plus in Leadership: Attitude.” ***
Author and pastor Charles Swindoll once said, “I am convinced that life is 10% of what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it.”
In one of my favorite movies, Remember the Titans, captain of the football team Gary is challenged by teammate Julius about why the team isn’t coming together. Gary told Julius that his attitude was the problem, to which Julis responded: “Attitude reflects leadership.” What a powerfully convicting statement!
What attitude is being reflected in your followers?
Consider the following 7 actions that John C. Maxwell teaches on how to develop and embody a good attitude:
1- Disown your helplessness
As a leader, you must continually seek solutions rather than wallow in self-pity. A “why me?” attitude will never advance your cause or lead your team to victory. Yes, failures and challenges occur. However, leaders rise up in the midst of challenges. If you begin to feel helpless, shake yourself out of the slump by taking solution-oriented action.
2 – Take the bull by the horns
Taking initiative gets things moving when everyone else feels stuck and frustrated. Leaders don’t allow inertia to plague their teams and organizations. They recognize that it’s impossible to steer a parked car. They get things moving so the team can wake up and take action to find creative solutions.
3 – Enter the “no whining zone”
Whining about problems doesn’t help anyone and to be honest, no one wants to be around whiners. While it may sound cliche’, winners aren’t whiners. Rather, they are action-takers who refuse to wallow in the mud of discouragement or disappointment. When problems arise (and they will) refuse to whine and instead check your attitude so that it is about problem-solving.
4 – Put on a new pair of shoes
The old adage of “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes” is a powerful way to gain perspective. When you think you have it bad, others have it worse. That alone should help your attitude. Be grateful for the things that are going well. Seek to understand what others are dealing with in their lives or businesses. Seek to view things from others’ perspectives when you are stuck on finding a solution. By taking this productive action, you will be able to discover helpful answers and solutions.
5 – Nurture your passion
Passion is a powerful thing. It pulls you forward on the days when you don’t want to move. Passion is something that allows us to wake up each day, get out of bed, and tackle the challenges at hand with enthusiasm. What are you passionate about? Are you doing that? If not, why not? If so, how are you nurturing it? Passion is a gift from God that points to your purpose. Passion is what leads you to take action when everyone else is standing still. Don’t neglect your passion or overlook its value in your leadership.
6 – Exceed expectations
Leaders stand out when they reject mediocrity and simply meet requirements. When you seek to exceed expectations, you are motivated to create and innovate. This creates a drive inside you that will cause you to look for new and better solutions. When you’re doing that, you don’t have time to have a poor attitude. You are energized to succeed. Expectations are the minimum requirements for any job. Go above and beyond if you want to advance as a leader.
7 – Never be satisfied
A friend of mine once shared on a podcast that successful people often struggle with never feeling successful because they are always seeking to be, do, or have more. I have found this to be true. In John Maxwell’s book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, he teaches on “The Law of the Rubber Band.” In that chapter, he points out that rubber bands are only useful when they are stretched. The same is true for people. If you want to continue to advance as a leader, you need to become comfortable being uncomfortable. When we are growth-oriented, we are never satisfied. Yes, be content with what you have or what you have accomplished, but choose to be dissatisfied to stay where you are if you want to reach your full potential in life. You can always grow to become better. It’s a choice.
As you go about your days and weeks, regularly check your attitude. Remember, someone is always watching and followers respond to how their leaders respond. A good personal attitude in the midst of challenges will result in better attitudes among your team. You may not be able to control everything in your life or work, but you can control your attitude.
Until next time…make it a GREAT day! (see, there’s another way to improve your attitude)
By the way, if you want to take your personal life or leadership to the next level, click HERE to learn more about my personal and executive coaching services.