Leadership Caffeine: Prepare Your Attitude Daily
to Lead Effectively

If as Woody Allen indicated, “80-percent of success is just showing up,” the gross majority of the
rest of success must be attributable to adopting the right attitude.
I’ll leave a little wiggle room in
there for the propensity to act and our good friend, luck.
Our attitude is visible on our faces, discernible in our words and palpable in our body language. If you’re
having a bad attitude day, month or lifetime, you can be certain that everybody you come in contact
with knows it and reacts accordingly.
The impact of your lousy attitude extends quietly outward,
systematically poisoning the working environment.
Think of managers you’ve worked for that projected a pissed-off, mad at being born and madder at
having to deal with you and your colleagues, demeanor.
What did that feel like? How did people react
to this person? How effective was this leader? (And while you would like to believe that these characters
don’t end up in leadership roles, inexplicably, they do.
Alternatively, think of managers and leaders you’ve encountered that projected a pragmatically
positive perspective, even in the darkest of times and most troubled of situations.
Their impact
creates a ripple effect that promotes progress, problem solving and innovation. Positive leaders also beget
other positive leaders.
Preparing Your Attitude is a Daily Ritual:
I love the daily ritual for “preparing her attitude,” shared by one manager in a workshop. “Every morning, after arriving at work, I sit in my car for a few minutes and think about how I will measure success today. I focus on the impact that I want to have on people around me, and I remind myself that I’m in my role as a leader at the discretion of those I serve. This act of focusing helps me push out all of life’s and the morning’s stress points.” collected 14 Sept 2011 Do you adjust your attitude before you walk in the door every morning? In case you are in need of a
little attitude adjustment, consider the following ideas:
6 Ideas to Help Prepare and Sustain a Daily Positive Leadership Attitude:
1. Don’t preoccupy on the negatives. Instead of focusing on the magnitude of workplace problems,
consider how good it will feel to make progress towards resolving them. Plan on measuring success by
progress made, not distance to go.
2. Commit to repairing broken relationships. Resolve to repair burnt or smoldering bridges by
extending an olive branch. If necessary, apologize. And then move forward.
3. Reset your priorities. Mentally reorder your priority list and put the people-issues you’ve been
avoiding at the top of the list. Accept that it is unfair to you, your broader team and the individuals
involved to postpone dealing with these tough issues any longer.
4. Redefine your personal key performance indicator. Recognize that your success will be measured
by helping others move forward. If all you do today is smile and help clear obstacles and remove road
hazards for those around you, the day will be successful.
5. Plan to quality-check yourself in real-time. Ask yourself after every encounter: “Did I live up to my
commitment to help?” If the answer is, “no,” retrace your steps and fix the problem immediately.
6. Remind yourself of Plato’s quote: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.”
The Bottom-Line for Now:
You choose your attitude every-day and for every encounter. Spend a few minutes today reminding yourself of the responsibility you have to serve and help others, and prepare your positive attitude before you walk in the door. And when you end your day, remember to measure your successes instead of dwelling on your failures. Remember, daily success is measured in progress made, not distance left to travel. collected 14 Sept 2011


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