How’s Your Attitude?

I don’t follow collegiate women’s basketball, collegiate women’s sports in general, or even the collegiate men’s sports to be honest. I did, however, find some of the tributes to the recent passing of Pat Summit quite moving.

Ms. Summit coached the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers basketball team from 1974 – 2012 and during that time racked up nearly 1,100 wins with an absolutely insane .841 winning percentage. And while that undoubtedly is a stunning stat, this is not a blog about ‘being the best,’ ‘making goals,’ ‘reaching for the stars,’ or any other inspirational reminders to help get you through the week on a Monday morning. No, this is a blog about attitude.

You see, amongst all the gaudy stats Ms. Summit posted up against her rivals, there was one often underrated quality many of us miss – the impact of attitude. As I learned about her life, two quotes from her stuck out.

"Attitude lies somewhere between emotion and logic. It's that curious mix of optimism and determination that enables you to maintain a positive outlook and to continue plodding in the face of the most adverse circumstances."

"Attitude is a choice. Think positive thoughts daily. Believe in yourself."

Now while that second quote is simplistic and quite good, I’m still a little partial to the first one. It’s got complexity that makes you sit and think, read it again…slowly and let it seep into your mind.

Over the past couple years, first unconsciously, then slowly, over time, I became consciously aware of how important; – no – how critical it is to have this personal attribute.

In our line of work, we often get called into a situation before, during or after a recent termination. I’m always curious to understand “why” the business felt it necessary to make a change. Now there are many reasons why a business needs to make a change…technical ability…knowledge…but the most common attribute that gets cited is attitude. Attitude to own mistakes rather than blame someone else, attitude to include others in a project, attitude to seek advice or admit there is a knowledge gap, attitude to help out the team, attitude to give credit where due, and on and on.

The importance of attitude is so fundamental, it even goes back to biblical times. In John 13:35, “By this everyone will know you…if you love one another.” Bingo. Attitude.

So, today if you find yourself in a quiet moment today, do a little self-assessment on your own attitude. How are you doing? Be both honest and fair with yourself and if you find that you’ve got some holes in your attitude, make that ‘choice’ for a more ‘positive outlook,’ and maybe go practice your jump shot too.

About the Author
Geoff Chinnock is a consultant with Morrison, working primarily in our Business & Accounting Advisory practice. To get in touch with Geoff, please find contact information for Morrison here.


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