Promotable Attitude

positive attitudeDo you have a promotable attitude? A fact of business life is that your attitude is often far more important than your skill level. High skills coupled with a poor life outlook or being a poor team player can be a toxic combination to business success.

Conversely, someone with a winning attitude and a willingness to learn is viewed by executives as a valued resource. I would promote the good attitude and a willingness to learn over good skills and a poor attitude every time. Why? Because an attitude, good or bad, is contagious. Seeding a team or business with a good attitude is a real benefit to the business. Poisoning a team or business with a poor attitude can do serious harm to motivation and goal achievement.

What is Attitude

A job attitude is a set of evaluations of one’s job that constitute one’s feelings toward, beliefs about, and attachment to one’s job. More often than not, attitude is rooted in your mind. And you can change your attitude. It’s not something to which you are hard wired. Even the worst of situations will seem to improve if your attitude towards it changes.

A negative one

Here is a list of some bad attitudes[i]. How do you compare?

  • Negative comparisons of others
  • Negative assumptions
  • Self-defeating talk
  • Negative reviews of the past
  • Disempowering beliefs about difficult people
  • The desire to blame
  • The fear of failure and making mistakes
  • Showing jealousy / envy
  • Being pessimistic
  • Being selfish
  • Being mean / thoughtless / tactless

The point is this. Most executives have little or no interest in assigning more responsibility or authority to someone who behaves like this.

A good one

Here’s the contrast for you. This is a good list[ii] for you to model!

  • Looking adversity in the eye… and laughing
  • Motivating those around you with a positive word
  • Using the power of a smile to reverse a situation
  • Getting back up when you fall down
  • Having a good time even when you are losing
  • Being happy for someone else’s success
  • Telling someone you know that they did a great job
  • Being a source of energy that lifts those around you

Sometimes it’s harder to have a good attitude because it often means not being focused on yourself.

The benefit

I was an up and coming product manager when I was promoted to director of a division. The promotion was announced to the company. Several weeks later the decision was reversed. The President came to me and said there was an unexpected turn of events that was part of something bigger. Not about me, but I had to take the hit. A tough situation, but I determined that the role would be mine in time so I sucked it up and carried on.

Eight months later the President came to me and complimented me on how I managed the situation and my good attitude. I was promoted to director, the youngest in a company with 60 subsidiaries worldwide, and went on to work on an international product planning committee. I won because I had a good attitude, a long term view, and a commitment to excellence.

Don’t ever underestimate the benefit of having a positive attitude. It could be a game changer for you. Often in a tight promotion competition the swing vote will come down to attitude – a positive one.

The ball is in your court

How is your attitude? How about your team’s overall attitude? You can change yours and by influence change those around you.

David Reimer

[i] 8 Negative Attitudes of Chronically Unhappy People, Preston Ni. / Yahoo answers


One thought on “Promotable Attitude”

  1. Couldn’t agree more! My director once said it like this: “If everyone is complaining, but you’re the one looking to take on more, who do you think will get attention from the leadership?”


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