Less than a year ago, I found myself in beautiful Tampa, Florida. I had received a call from a CEO there who expressed his need for my help. He told me that morale in his company was far below what it needed to be. He asked me to come in and train his upper management in positive thinking.
I had other business in Tampa and didn't see him until my third day there. I walked into his office suite (and was it ever 'sweet'). This man had started this company 'with his own two hands' (as he put it). He was very proud to say that he had 'run this company single-handedly for 32 years'.
He started in telling me how his management and employees had a very bad attitude towards him, his company and his industry. His sales staff was turning over every six months. His VP of sales had been with him one year and he felt as if he was about to put in his resignation.
To my horror, he offered me the job as his sales manager. I told him 'no thanks' faster than a stroke of lightning in the middle of a Texas thunderstorm. In fact, he hired me for a month at more than the salary he was paying his sales manager on an annual basis.
He let me know that he could 'probably double that for me'. This poor man was clueless (and I'm about 1000% sure that he won't see this article here :).
The first order of business was for him to pay my full fee upfront. I knew that what I had to tell him might affect how good my check would be if I waited until the end of my services with him.
He put me up at very lovely resort 3 blocks from his office.
My first day (after making sure my check had cleared) he sent someone to pick me up. We arrived at his office and I promptly went into his office suite.
He had a list of all of his 'troubled managers'. He wasn't wanting to fire any of them but he did want me to 'fix' their attitudes. I told him that we would be spending our first week on 'his' outlook and philosophy of his company.
As you can imagine, this poor guy had no clue that the basic problem in his company, was him. Much to my surprise, after getting over his shock that I would be so direct in confronting his attitude, he agreed that he knew that he had 'allowed his managers and employees' drag his attitude down as well. (Clueless again.)
Friend, everything starts and stops with leadership. This man had a lot of pride. However, secretly I think that he knew that the problem in his turnover, financial loses, bitter disputes with customers and almost all out war with his competitors are stemmed from him.
I spent the first two weeks working with him and his upper management. I spent one-on-one time with each one of them (he had 12 in all). I ate lunch with them, watched football games with them and even drove a few of them on the golf course (I don't play golf; well I do but you wouldn't want to see it. Its not a pretty site.)
If everything rises and falls on leadership, then leadership rises and falls on attitude.
I determined whether his 12 managers were really sold out to the company of whether or not they were irredeemable. I listened to their complaints, gripes and general unhappiness. We identified why they were still with the company and discovered their future hopes for themselves and their employment there.
You have an amazing power within your control at this very moment. It is the power of choice. You can choose to have an awesome attitude or you can default into negativity. Let me be very direct.
Negativity leads to poverty. Positivity leads to prosperity. For you. For your company. For your employees.
The great motivator and author, Keith Harrell said it best. 'Attitude is Everything!'
We developed a training program that is still being utilized in that company. We called it 'attitude training'. Along with all technical aspects of a business enterprise 'attitude training' will determine profits.
Attitude is far beyond 'positive thinking'. It is the perpetual, consistent outlook that you choose to have. I believe that attitude can be taught. When attitude is taught, then it can be caught and have a phenomenal synergistic effect on everything.
It might seem trite now, but when Zig wrote many years ago about, 'stinking thinking', he discovered a key that would make or break an individual or a company.
Do a check up from the neck up right now.
1. Rate your overall attitude regarding life in general. Give it a 10 for possessing an awesome, powerful attitude. Give it a 0 if your attitude stinks.
2. Make a decision now to do something about your attitude if you know that it needs improvement.
3. If you are a business owner or manager, take responsibility for the morale that exists around you. You can't change what you won't acknowledge.
4. If your personal or corporate profits are suffering find out why. Even though you may have changes in your industry and business you still need to assess you 'umbrella of attitude' that exists in your company and environment.
5. Be honest if you are having trouble with your own attitude. Also, if it is something that you don't know what to do about, get some outside help.
Take action to turn your personal attitude to one that seeks, explores and finds new opportunities.
If you haven't done so in a while, set some new goals in your life and/or in your company. If you feel that you or your company has lost its edge, then decide now that you are going to do something about it.
Go to the local bookstore and find a book on attitude. Hire a consultant to come in an assess where the problem is.
Start some 'attitude training' in your company. I guarantee that if you identify with this article, your profits can and will go up very quickly we you choose to turn attitudes around.
Do something to stir your passion up again for your life and/or business. Take positive action today.