As a leader of any group, your effectiveness will depend upon the people that you call on to assist you. There is only so much that you can do yourself. While in industry, my number one criteria in hiring was the attitude of the candidate. I would always select a candidate with a good attitude over a more competent candidate with a bad attitude. A person with a good attitude is teachable and can learn the product and system.
In ministry, we always try to surround ourselves with people with good attitudes. We need others that can lift us up rather than put us down. John Maxwell says we need to be around fire starters, not firemen who pour water on every new idea.
A while back the San Francisco School Board selected three teachers for an experiment. They explained to the teachers that they were selected because they were the very best in the district. They would be given the ninety best students and were to take off all restrictions, and pour themselves into the kids. They wanted to see how these students could progress. The results of the class were great: Students scored twenty-eight higher than any other group of students. After the experiment, the truth came out. The students were not the best, they were just average students chosen by drawing names. And the teachers themselves were also average teachers whose names had been drawn randomly. The difference in performance of the students was based on the attitude of the teachers. The teachers thought of themselves as great teachers and thought of their students as the best.
Your attitude at the beginning of a task will directly affect the outcome. If you begin with excitement and enthusiasm you have a greater chance of success than if you start with a “wait and see” or “I don’t want to do this.”
So the LORD said to Solomon, "Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. [1 Kings 11:11 ]
Jesus called twelve to be His apostles. These were all common men without theological training. They were fishermen, tax collectors, and other normal vocations, but they all had right attitude.
Luke 6:12-13 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. 13 When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles:
They were designated apostles for two purposes; that they might be with Him and that He might send them out and have His authority. That is what leaders need - people that fit in relationship, and that can be given authority and represent us. At work, a person's chance of success is thirteen percent product knowledge and eighty-seven percent people knowledge. My attitude toward others often determines their attitude toward me.
Nordstrom’s Stores did a customer survey to determine why they lose customers. The responses are meaningful;
1 % died, 3% moved away,
5% found a better store,
9% left for competitive reasons,
14% left because of product dissatisfaction,
and a whopping 68% quit coming because of the attitude or the indifference of an employee.
Your attitude will affect how you feel - whether you are happy or unhappy. The thoughts in your mind are more important than the events in your life. Our attitude will change when I want it to change - we can control it if we understand the importance of controlling it. It is not what happens to us, but what happens in us. When Clara Barton, Civil War nurse and founder of the Red Cross, was once asked about carrying a grudge, she replied,
“I distinctly remember forgetting.”
How you know your attitude needs adjustment:
- If you lack time for self and for God
- Relationships with co-workers is strained
- Your spouse tells you your attitude stinks
- Your view of people lowers
- You become cynical about your life.
Attitude adjustment techniques:
- Say the right word - I am sorry, will you forgive me?
- Read the right books.
- Listen/Watch the right audios/videos
- Hang out with the right people.
- Do the right things
Your attitude is contagious
People catch your attitudes just like they catch our colds - by sitting close to us.