In The Trenches

It’s all about your attitude

Published on August 25, 2014 Back to blog

A few weeks ago, I went to a water park with my kids, while my wife opted to visit an outlet mall. I was a bit concerned about the adventure because the last time we went to a water park my 6-yr old son (like my wife) was too scared to go on anything. So, unless we got my son on the slides, it was going to be a long day.

As we entered the park, my 10-yr old daughter and I shared our excitement for going on the slides, while my son cowered with fear. But, after about 30 minutes, his fear subsided and we were next in line for the Wild River ride. He was still scared, but willing to try. Fifteen minutes later, he was begging me to go down the “Big Toboggan” with him.

Kids, just like adults, are very impressionable. My wife doesn’t like water slides and therefore, my son (who often follows her every move) was equally as scared of them. Of course, my daughter (who most often follows my lead) was as excited to go on them as I was.

Understanding this dynamic can not only lead to very positive behavioral changes at home, but also in the workplace. Here are a few examples of how it can help you:

1. Inspire better work
When a person/team is given an assignment, they are only be as excited about it as the person who gives it to them. So rather than highlighting the downsides of a project, highlight what makes it a great opportunity. Better results will follow.

2. Have happier (and more satisfied) clients
Before presentations, I usually give my team one simple piece of advice: “Show them how much you love the work.” When people see how much you (the experts) love the work, others will feel much better about it (and the presentation will go much better).

3. Meet more deadlines
Ever notice how the seemingly impossible things get done on time? When we believe we can, we do. When we tell ourselves (and others) we can’t, we don’t.

4. Inspire confidence
We achieve our potential when we believe we can. So, we must encourage and instill confidence in those around us. When we do so, they will reach greater heights (like the top of a huge water slide).

5. Create a better work culture
When the leaders have a positive attitude, others follow. (Warning: the opposite is also true).

Everyone has the opportunity to be a leader in their organization – and impact the work and culture around them. I hope that this example serves as a reminder and guide to help make your work (and home) environment a more positive one by simply having a positive and encouraging attitude.

Now, on to roller coasters….

Jeff Freedman
CEO/Managing Partner
Small Army | Finn Partners