My cat crushed his yearly vet check up last week. The vet lifted him off the scales, kitty grabbed it and threw it off the counter like a boss. Grrrr! The vet was all smiles and told me kitty has now reached his perfect weight. After struggling since 2008 to get rid of that pesky extra pound, we finally made it! My geriatric dog, Buddy, has also reached is ideal weight. What changed over this year? I feed them the same amount. We’ve kept to our walking routine though Buddy has slowed down and his distance has shortened (he’s well over 90 in human years). So what changed?
ME! My eating habits and the way I think about food has changed. What I didn’t realize until this vet visit was just how much my habits – good and bad – impact my pets.
This new revelation got me thinking about my role as a leader. Attitude is also habit. We’ve all seen how infectious a negative person’s attitude can be to a team. It spreads faster than the flu. Whispered gossip and petty bickering between team members will derail a project faster than any risk. If allowed to run wild, the team’s chance of successfully reaching project goals severely decreases.
The leader’s attitude can make or break a project.
I’ll be honest. Leader is one of the toughest roles I have to play in life. Nothing irritates me more than a negative team member who uses passive-aggressive behavior to spread drama and negativity. I’ve seen this taken to the extreme. One person was so entrenched in her spiteful behavior, she was willing to actively work on destroying a program rather than allow others to be successful. This person was finally removed. The simple change turned the team around and they were successful.
One powerful secret weapon I use as a leader is my habitual positive attitude. Being positive allows your mind to remain open to new ideas and opinions. Most folks would rather follow a leader who exudes positive thoughts and encouragement. They shy away from the old grump who insists on continuing down the same comfortable, but unproductive path.
Remember: Being positive isn’t always easy. Everybody has their bad days. If you work at staying positive and being an encourager to your team, it will eventually become a useful habit. Promoting a positive environment results in increased productivity and more job satisfaction for you and your team.