Whilst your attitude alone will not determine success, it plays a large part in the success process.
Attitude is key, and it is vital to have the right attitude for the right outcomes. Influencing your own attitude will result in changing your behaviours, and in return impact on outcomes.
Your attitude also plays a large part in your perceived reputation and brand.
I recall once working with two senior managers. One was the Head of Services and the other was his manager, the Director of Services. The Head of Services was a dour, gloomy and solemn person. He rarely smiled and he made communication difficult. On the few occasions that I dealt directly with him, I would leave the meeting feeling drained, depressed and exhausted.
One day, whilst having a conversation with his manager, the Director of Services, I recall that I requested some information that would involve the Director of Services having to talk with the Head of Services.
The Director of Services responded, “I don’t have the energy, the want, or the will to discuss this at the moment with him. I need to do it at a later date when I’m ready to do battle.”
I remember in my naivety asking, “If he is such hard work, how did he get to be Head of Services?”
The response was, “I ask the same question every time I deal with him. His promotion was before I arrived, and I very much doubt he will be here when I leave.”
The Head of Services had a small team, and each and every one of them projected the same attributes as their manager: dour, gloomy, resistant. They were all shockingly bad at communication, and not one of them was particularly pleasant to work with.
What did this attitude say about both the Head of Services and the Director of Services? Their teams? How did this feed into their brand and the reputation of the individuals and their teams?
The Head of Services as well as the Director of Services and his department were made redundant within 12 months.
Had the Director had the time, energy and confidence to coach and manage the Head of Services and the impact his behaviour and attitude were having on those around him, I believe he could have saved the department.
If only he had aligned his attitude to the problem in hand, to the role. However, by ignoring the situation he caused a change effect that meant he was seen as a poor manager, and so the whole team had to go as they were a hindrance to company performance.
Excerpt from The Step Up Mindset for New Managers by Margo Manning