One of my very cool business-owner-clients sent me a great thank-you note about the culture work we did in 2017, with a motivating message about our 2018 plan. Great note and proudly displayed on my desk. However, my favorite part about his note was the envelope, this envelope…now posted on my bulletin board – I love this quote!
Because I reflect on these words everyday, attitude has been on my mind lately, and a primary focus… The lens through which I am viewing, my lens, is “leadership”. Based on my executive coaching interactions, I can easily say, the majority of leaders with whom I work (ha…like 99%!), go directly to “how do I fix this employee’s bad attitude?” (Do Not Pass Go!). From their perspective, “attitude” is all on the employee. No culpability on their part. Well…that’s not totally accurate. Maybe it’s more like they do not believe, or even realize they directly influence attitude. They can, and they do. You do too.
In the March 2017 Harvard Business Review article, “Motivating People Starts with Having the Right Attitude”, author Monique Valcour states,
Many leaders don’t understand that they are an integral part of the motivational ecosystem in their companies. The motivational qualities…[persistence, being a self-starter, having a sense of accountability for and commitment to achieving results, and being willing to go the extra mile on projects or to help other team members] appear most frequently when employees feel valued, trusted, challenged, and supported in their work — all things that leaders can influence. For better or worse, leaders’ attitudes and behaviors have a huge effect on employees’ drive and capacity to perform.”
Our ability as leaders to directly influence or “fix” an employee’s negative attitude, or at a minimum, enhance an employee’s positive attitude, is threefold.
#1- Are you a leader your followers want to follow? [A great read is the classic HBR article “Why Should Anyone Be Led by You?”]
#2 – Are you a living example of great leadership?
#3 – Are you modeling a good/great attitude yourself?
Are you influencing and motivating a/an (take your pick: positive, productive, performance-enhancing, empowering, engaging, can-do) attitude while being a strong leader? This is key to leveraging your organizational talent. Taken from Entrepreneur.com, and the article “6 Key Tips for Leading by Example”, the 6 key tips impacting employee drive, performance, and excellence are (drumroll please!):
1. Establish an impeccable standard of excellence.
2. Deliver on results promised.
3. Value people and nurture relationships.
4. Promote strategic cooperation
5. Resolve conflict quickly and effectively.
6. Freely develop and support others.
No big surprise take-aways…just basic great-leadership tenets. Do these well, and enjoy the cascading, domino effect.
Lead by example…model positive attitude…influence positive behavior in others…increased engagement…greater ideas, bigger effort, enhanced quality…employee happiness, improved quality, increased customer satisfaction, increased sales, greater profits…
…and it all starts with YOU!