Habits are things we do naturally. They are the easiest thing for us to do in an emergency when quick actions are required. We learn a habit by doing it. Some are very good and some are embarrassing. Some we have been doing for a long time and some we are just developing.
Leaders need to develop certain basic habits so their response is automatic and correct. Habits that drive their leadership and make them successful.
The #2 habit that every leader has to develop is THE HABIT OF A POSITIVE ATTITUDE.
No one wants to work for a whiner, nor will people respect a pouter. If your first response to a problem is to lash out with anger and threaten someone or scream or withdraw, you need to work for the next 21 days on developing a positive attitude. It’s a habit that a mature leader, a leader who demands respect, will have under control.
To began to work on a positive attitude we need to practice five things for the next 21 days. That’s how long it takes to change or develop an attitude. Remember: You cannot take a day off. Every day you have to practice these five things.
1. Start with figuring out your attitude toward your day. Is this just another day, or is this a new day, a fresh day, another day to be alive, another day to do what you do? If you approach the day with a “oh-hum” attitude, it will be an “Oh-hum” day. But, if you look ahead to the new day with excitement, it can change your whole day. It starts when you open your eyes in the morning. Dread the day and you will be negative. I guarantee it! Anticipate the day and you will start positive. Try it.
2. Now, check your attitude about good stuff and bad stuff. Good stuff will happen today. So will bad stuff. Are you expecting the good AND the bad? Are you open to it? Do you accept that it is a part of life? No one is picking on you. In fact, we often have to experience the bad stuff to grow, then we get the good stuff. So, when the bad stuff comes today, just smile and work your way through it so you can get to the good stuff. Set your mind on this course and expect bad stuff.
3. You need to exercise some responsibility every day to make the good stuff happen. So, try to make things good for other people. Smile at everyone. Laugh free and loud. Say hello to everyone. Encourage someone. Comment on the sky, or the flowers, or someone’s new clothing. Ask about a child, a trip or a friend. Get outside your little world and into the bigger world. See the good stuff there and comment on it. Do it every day for the next 21 days. You will find others will start doing it as well. Then you will see your leadership.
4. Now, the big one…check your attitude toward opportunities. An opportunity may be glorious and you will naturally be excited about that. What about the opportunity that isn’t fun, the one you wish would go away, the one where you have to solve a problem? Can you attack it’s solution with the same excitement? Leadership is responding to opportunity. Why not respond with joy and excitement? Smile as you think about the opportunity to win over this problem. Tell others you expect to win. Hum a little. Sing some. Make people wonder how you can face something like this with such a calm spirit. Let them see your leadership.
5. Finally, be thankful that someone trusted you with this leadership responsibility. Someone put you in the leaders role because they thought you could do it. Respond to that trust with confidence and joy, even in the face of tough situations. What an amazing privilege. Don’t run from the bad stuff. Welcome it. It gives you a chance to show why you should be the leader.
Practice these five things for the next 21 days and let’s see how your leadership changes. It will become even more fun!
Next important habit– #3 SET THE EXAMPLE