Weekly Business Idea

July 5, 2018 – Do You Have a Winning Attitude?

Posted on | July 5, 2018 | No Comments

Main Idea:

Have you defined what winning means to you and your business?  Are you doing well but feel out of control?  Are you one step away from disaster? Does your team work well together?  Are you burnt out?  Do you delegate? Are you a learner?  Are there more days than not where you are ready to sell the business and buy an island where no one will bother you?  Do you watch Fox News or CNN?  If you are a betting person, do you ever bet against Bill Belicheck, coach of the New England Patriots or Nick Saban at Alabama?

Expansion of the Idea:

As most of you who live in St Louis know, the Cardinals are having a very trying year.  The club and the city have expectations that they will get to the playoffs every year.  They have missed the playoffs for the last two years and things are not looking very good this year.  They have had their fair share of injuries.  But that doesn’t fully explain their problems.  I honestly don’t know what all of the problems are.  However, there are a couple of key players that started extremely slow and are just now coming out of that season opening slump.  During this period, they have played sloppy baseball and most people would say that they lost their edge. They have started playing better and so maybe they have found that edge.  In baseball as in business, success is frequently determined between our ears.

The leader’s attitude will determine the business’ altitude.  This is frequently overlooked.  We focus on systems and marketing and people.  We rarely focus on ourselves.  What happens when you have a flat tire on your way to the office and you walk in with a bad attitude?  Do you think that one of your employees will tell you something that you need to know even if it is not good?  They may look at your attitude and make a note to tell you later.  The whole mood of a business can be determined by the leader’s attitude.  When you walk into another business, how often do you get a feel for whether or not you would want to work there?  I know I have walked into some places and instinctively I know that business is an awful place.  I am embarrassed that has happened occasionally at my office.  (I will say that I don’t think it has happened in a long while.)

Perception is critical here.  If your team thinks you have a bad attitude when in fact you are just confused by a problem or have a personal matter that is impacting you, it can be just as bad.  This problem can be eliminated or at least minimized by communication.  Tax season can be a problem in my office.  We are all under pressure and there can be a lot of misconceptions.  This past year we had a new person who didn’t know me and the rest of the team very well.  We recognized that and we tried very hard to make sure that we communicated issues, problems, and even attitude.  If we had a problem we might talk about how it hit us but then we focused on what to do next and we didn’t get dragged into a pit.

What is critical to make sure that we have a winning attitude?

There are a lot of things that will help you attain a winning attitude.  Here are a few things that work for me.

  1. I try to surround myself with positive people.  We need to have diversity.  In my inner circle of friends and advisors, I must have positive people.
  2. I try to watch my external inputs.  Several years ago, I determined that after watching the news I just felt angry or frustrated with our political leaders.  (It doesn’t matter which side of the aisle you are on.  They all frustrate me.) I stopped watching Fox News or CNN because it was just too depressing.  Instead I read the Wall Street Journal.  It has its own slant but I think I understand it and I can handle it.  I need to know what is going on but I can’t wallow in the problems.
  3. I try to define my goals.  When I am focused on my future goals, I start doing things to attain those goals.  When I attain those goals, I feel better.
  4. I spend time planning.  We will talk about this in a future weekly idea, but time spent in Stephen Covey’s Quadrant II working on important but not urgent items is critical.
  5. I celebrate the wins.  Everyone likes to win.  Even celebrating small things, we are fostering better attitudes.  If you are in a real challenging situation right now, manufacture some small wins.  Do whatever it takes to create a win.
  6. I try to celebrate the failures.  I know that this sounds crazy.  However, when we celebrate someone who tried something and gave it their best, you are setting that person up for success.  When our identity is determined by whether we just won a new contract or not, we will have problems in the future.
  7. For me it is critical to spend time every morning doing something positive.  I try to spend time studying the Bible every morning.  (I fail at this a lot.)  However, I approach the day in a much better place when I am able to do this.  I have friends who listen to positive self-help messages.  I know others that read a business book for 15 minutes every day.  The point is that you don’t have to do a lot every morning but this will help get you set.

There are a lot of other ways to work on your attitude.  You need to find out what works for you.  Your business and your team deserve it.

Questions to Ponder

  1. Do I have a good attitude?
  2. What does my spouse or kids say about my attitude?
  3. What does my team think about my attitude?
  4. Am I disciplined in working on my attitude?
  5. Is there anything in the above list that might help you?
  6. Go do it.


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    These weekly ideas are brought to you by FitzGerald & FitzGerald P.C. For more information about how to use these ideas with your small business contact Tim FitzGerald at trfitz@fitz-net.com.