Thoughts on Leadership: Embrace a positive attitude for success

Perceptions matter. And it's not just how others perceive you – it's how you perceive the situations you face. This constitutes your attitude, and attitude is a powerful tool for effective leadership. Attitude is one of the most critical attributes for success. A positive attitude in leaders produces results in more ways than one. "Your attitude determines your altitude," as the saying goes.

I’ve often heard many speakers say: Keep your thoughts and attitude positive because your thoughts become your words and your words become your actions and your actions become your habits and your habits become your destiny.   A negative attitude can significantly weaken your efforts and set back your leadership potential. Negative attitudes tend to produce the kinds of people that others don't want to do business with. They tend to hinder your results.   As an example, think about how it becomes impossible to make a sale when you really need it. Or how when you're trying really hard to persuade someone, they just won't listen. People have a keen sense for desperation and it tends to drive them running in the other direction. The same thing happens when you have a negative attitude. You exude negativity and it causes people to avoid you.

A negative attitude will cause a person to focus only on the obstacles rather than the opportunities and solutions. The negative mind gets caught up in problems and tends to feel very stressed. Stress hinders creativity, which means a negative attitude often stands in the way of progress, productivity and leadership.   In contrast, a positive attitude allows you to deal with the inevitable challenges to creativity and resourcefulness. A positive person is creative and makes the best of every situation in their path to leadership success.

The takeaway here is that attitude plays a critical role in determining success or failure. The difference between 5 percent of people who do well and the other 95 percent who do not is attitude – not innate talent, money or "being at the right place at the right time." No – it's attitude. You need to look, act and feel successful before you'll ever achieve success as a leader. And that all starts with a positive attitude.   How can you turn a negative attitude to positive? The same way positive people maintain their upbeat outlook – by eliminating the negative inputs, influences and factors in life and instead introducing positive ones. The good news is what you focus on expands and the bad news is what you focus on expands.   Take control of what you feed your mind. Cut out the negative messages you receive throughout the day from news outlets, billboards, magazines, websites and even family and friends. Make a point of being the one who decides what goes into your head. If you don't, someone else will.   Acquire, maintain and protect your positive attitude and you will see your life improve in more ways than one. You'll likely enjoy living more and your success will grow in the process. You'll attract more positive people to be around because positive attracts positive and negative attracts negative.

Sounds pretty simple, right? Your attitude determines how you experience life and how successful you will be. It either pulls you down or lifts you up. It's your choice.