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It’s easy to say that having the right attitude can improve productivity, but how can managers inspire the kind of mindset that achieves results? Dr. Roy Whitten explores some fail-safe techniques.
Attitude has become one of the latest buzzwords for leaders who want to transform the performance of their teams.
Its current popularity is both helpful and unhelpful; it certainly brings the subject of mindset and motivation to the forefront of discussion about the skills required of great leaders.
But it also invites shallow analysis and "quick fixes" that are easy to apply yet fail to stand up under the pressures of professional life.
Central to performance
Attitude is far more than simply being "positive" or "negative." It goes to the heart of what motivates and drives our behaviour in response to challenges and possibilities.
Attitude incorporates who we think we are, what matters to us, and what we ultimately want. It determines how we think and what we do.
Elite athletes have long recognised the role attitude plays in performance. I remember tennis superstar Billie Jean King telling me 30 years ago that "staying in the zone" had been the secret to her success.
Over the past decades, there has been a growing recognition among business leaders and researchers that the ability to maintain an open, receptive, and proactive state of mind is a fundamental key to success.
Influential writers, among them Frederic Laloux, Steven Covey and Ken Blanchard, have identified some of attitude's key components: integrity, proactivity, will, humility, self-direction, and wholeness.
Attitude means results
It is clear that there is a direct relationship between someone’s attitude and the results he can create. However, it is also clear that only the person himself can change his attitude.
These two facts generate an important question for all leaders: How do you get your people to want to do what the business needs them to do?
To answer this question, leaders must learn how to manage attitude; first for themselves, and then within their teams.
When this skill is learned and its application required, everyone can maintain a state of mind that creates results instead of inhibiting them.
Managing attitude requires learning a skill that we call "reclaim", the ability in the moment to regain a state of mind that enables peak performance.
It requires people to master four steps: