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Attitude 101: What Every Leader
Needs to Know (101 Series) by John
So Much Is About Attitude...
As stated in the preface to this concise primer, any weekday edition of The
New York Times contains more information than the average person living
in 17th-century England was exposed to in a lifetime. In acknowledgement
of the modern worlds information glut, leadership expert John C. Maxwell
has produced Attitude 101, a 99-page companion volume to one of his
previous bestsellers, Leadership 101. In this new book, Maxwell examines
the importance of attitude in determining a leaders success or failure, the
forces that shape a persons attitude, and the seven choices necessary if
one is to change his or her attitude. Fans of Maxwells earlier books will
enjoy his pithy advice, and will no doubt look forward to the third and fourth
volumes in this series (Relationships 101, Equipping 101), both available in
2004. --David Bombeck
Personal Review: Attitude 101: What Every Leader Needs to
Know (101 Series) by John C. Maxwell
The author, leadership authority John Maxwell, says "Attitude is always a
'player' on your team....Your attitude and potential go hand in hand....A lot
goes into an attitude--but a lot more comes out of it!....The key to having a
good attitude is the willingness to change....The greatest battle you wage
against failure occurs on the inside, not the outside....Every successful
person is someone who failed, yet never regarded himself as a
failure....Attitude determines how far you can go on the success
journey....Leaders have to give up to go up."
Maxwell's book is full of commonsense aphorisms that are both thoughtful
and appropriate. Taken together, along with personal reflections and apt
quotations from people who are famous and/or insightful, they provide an
excellent roadmap to analyzing the attitudes that people have, and taking
practical steps toward improving them.
Attitude impacts leadership. "Attitudes have the power to lift up or tear
down a team....An attitude compounds when exposed to others....Attitude
is catching....Bad attitudes compound faster than good ones....Attitudes
are subjective so identifying a wrong one can be difficult."
"Common rotten attitudes that ruin a team" include "an inability to admit
wrongdoing....failing to forgive....petty jealousy....the disease of me...a
critical spirit....a desire to hog all the credit....Rotten attitudes, left alone,
Clara Barton, when asked to recall a wrong that was done to her, replied "I
distinctly remember forgetting that." NBA basketball great Bill Russell said
"The most important measure of how good a game I played was how much
better I made my teammates play." These are examples of exemplary
attitudes. The visionary Thomas Jefferson believed in the importance of
attitude himself, saying "Nothing can stop the man with the right mental
attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with
the wrong mental attitude."
"Attitude determines success or failure," the author believes. He has
seven attitude axioms: "Our attitude determines our approach to life...Our
attitudes determines our relationships with people....Often our attitude is
the only difference between success and failure....Our attitude at the
beginning of a task will affect its outcome more than anything else....Our
attitude can turn our problems into blessings....Our attitude can give us an
uncommonly positive perspective....Your attitude is not particularly good
because you are a religious person."
The author believes that attitudes are shaped by the interrelationship
between one's personality, environment, expression, feelings,self-image,
opportunities for growth, associations with others, phiysical appearance,
marriage, job and family. "People don't care how much you know until
they know how much you care, " he says.
To change one's attitude, one should evaluate your present attitude,
realize that faith is stronger than fear, write a statement of purpose,
including what you desire to accomplish each day, verbalizing to an
encouraging friend what you intend to accomplish each day, and taking
action on your goal every day. One must have the desire to change, to fall
in love with the challenge of change and watch the desire to change grow.
One must live one day at a time,change your thought patterns, develop
good habits, and continually choose to have a right attitude.
Attitudes can be strengthened by the overcoming of obstacles, by
regarding failure as an event and not as a description of one's character,
by seeing success as a journey and not as a destination, and by
recognizing that leaders have to make sacrifices in order to go where they
want to go. Martin Luther King and Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton are
both exemplified in this book; King is viewed as typical of the best possible
type of leaders because he so devoted his life to the service of others.
This is an excellent book for persons, organizations, corporations, and
groups stuck in a rut and needing renewal. The simple writing here
contains many simple truths, with an emphasis on the belief that there is a
large element of personal control in one's destiny. Those who read this
book will find the investment of time to be well spent.
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