Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” ~ Zig Ziglar
What is Aptitude?
Aptitude is our potential to learn skills, the abilities we develop and perfect over time. Good leadership skills include communication, delegation, trustworthiness, responsibility, etc. But while it is important, aptitude alone will not make you a good leader. It is your attitude that determines what and how much you can do, and how far you will go.
Attitude is Contagious
A bad attitude, especially from a leader, produces more bad attitudes. If everyone around you has an attitude problem, perhaps you, yourself, are a large part of the problem. Ever consider that? Think about what you might be spreading around your social and professional circles.
Your attitude impacts every aspect of your life. Almost all the “attitude issues” I have dealt with over the years, including my own, are the result of allowing someone or something else to control behavior. That is a big problem. No one else is responsible for your attitude. You are!
Be a Responsible Leader
You might be thinking, “Ha! That’s right, they are responsible for their attitudes. Not me.”
While in part that is true, we are also often a product of our environment. As a leader, it is your responsibility to set the tone for your team—to create a positive environment that generates less stress and produces more positive attitudes. That way you can get the desired results with much less effort.
How to Cultivate a Positive Attitude
Aptitude is something you can learn, but attitude is a lot harder to change and cultivate.
Fortunately, there are habits you can begin to implement every day, including:
- Refueling by taking care of your body and getting enough sleep
- Getting some exercise to relieve stress
- Keeping a gratitude journal and intentionally focusing on the good parts of the day
- Reframing and embracing challenges as experienced for growth
- Adopting a more positive vocabulary
- Getting good at failure and rejection, and not letting it harden you against trying
- Making someone else smile
- Not letting your attitude get dragged down by others
- Ignoring whiners and complainers
- Listening to or reading something inspirational every morning
I recently read this statement, and it has stuck with me:
“We get what we create and what we allow.”
You are in full control. What are you creating and allowing in your business and in your life? If you feel your team’s overall attitude needs an adjustment, first look in the mirror. Think about your attitude and how it elicits different responses from your team. Lead by example. Accept responsibility for your people and the environment you create based on your attitude.
Dave Ferguson is “The Leaders’ Coach”, an internationally recognized executive leadership coach, speaker, facilitator, and author. For help in creating a positive team environment that gets results, “ASK COACH DAVE” at 704-907-0171 or at Dave@AskCoachDave.com.