Monday, July 18, 2005

Attitude Is Everything

When trying to build your network and grow your career it is important that you have a positive attitude. If you want to succeed in a sales, marketing or public relations career you have to be the type of person that others enjoy being around, and that means projecting an upbeat demeanor.

Does this mean that you have to be happy all the time? NOBODY has a pleasant outlook 365 days a year. It is not normal without medication. However, that does not mean that you have to wear your sour mood on your sleeve. When at the office or out networking in the business community you do need to be positive or you must pretend. Nothing can help derail your future faster than being labeled as a nay-sayer.

But is this just important for those who are starting out in their careers? Nope, this advise is universal. In fact, those who are more seasoned business executives.....especially those who have had previous successes in their working lives..... should take a close look on how they behave in regards to their attitude.

For many years I have known a woman we will call "Mary". Mary has had a spectacular career and developed a wonderful reputation in her industry over two decades. She was always considered one of the most upbeat and positive individuals in the local business community, and the was a senior executive inside the company where she worked.

However, over the past few years Mary has seen many changes in her job that were out of her control, and she is not happy with the direction her career is headed. Her company was sold to a large, national competitor and she now has a new manager in a far away city. She openly second-guesses every decision that her new company makes and mocks the people in the company's headquarters.

I feel bad for Mary. She really is an amazing business person, but because of her past successes she feels she has earned the right to become a pre-madonna. At some point she forgot how she got to the top in her career and began to believe that she was better than those around her. It was not really noticeable when things were going her way, but once the economy turned cool and her company was sold, she could not hide her poor attitude.

How about you? Are you like Mary? I think it is a good idea to have an annual attitude check. Much like going to the doctor for an annual physical to make sure everything is working right in your body, an annual attitude check is the time to make sure that you are behaving correctly toward those around you and finding ways to uplift the collective, rather than tearing it down.

How do you emotionally react to your work environment? When others have ideas that you did not think of first, do you immediately see them as dumb or silly? Is your first response to tell enthusiastic co-worker "how it really is" around your company? Do you find yourself rolling your eyes when your boss has a new initiative? Do you think the company would collapse if you left for the competition? If you answered yes to these questions than you need overhaul your attitude.

Instead of immediately finding the negative, be the person who embraces the changes and looks for ways to help other's ideas succeed. Just because you do not agree with an idea does not necessarily make it wrong (unless you see yourself as simply that much better than everyone else, in which case I would be shocked that your read this whole article anyway!!!). A positive, can-do attitude will always be rewarded. Even if the initiative fails, you will be recognized for your efforts. Plus, people like being around those who want to help the company succeed rather than selfish conceited jerks.

Have A Great Day

Thom Singer

1 comment:

ariadneK, Ph.D. said...

With regard to your medication comment: I take medication to control the severe moodswings that accompany severe bipolar disorder, but even THOSE don't cover everything (so it is not much different than being "unmedicated"). heheh...just wanted to throw in my 2 cents in THAT regard.

This is a great blog and I like your style of communicating, very effective!!!