In the course that some of our students are taking this fall, Excellence in Leadership, one of the drills that we do is list all the qualities that a leader should have. In fact we explore what we would like to see in a number of different relationships. All of them are marked as either being a Skill or an Attitude.
Consistently when I do this drill the Attitudes dominate the list, no matter if the relationship is with your parents, teacher, sibling, friend, workmate… it just doesn’t matter, Attitude dominates. In a poll done of the 100 largest businesses in America of the single biggest reason individuals are fired, reasons that would be noted as attitude again dominate the list.
While 30 percent are fired due to incompetence (skill) all of the rest of the highest rated reasons were attitude related including lack of motivation, negative attitude, dishonesty, inability to get along, failure to follow instructions. Our attitude determines what we see and how we handle our actions and feelings. Our attitude is something that we can change at the snap of our fingers if we chose to do so, while a skill is something that we need to be trained in or study to learn how to do.
This asset of Attitude is responsible for our success in every relationship that we have 85% of the time, while actual skills training is responsible only 15% of the time according to The Carnegie Institute. When things are not going the way that we would like to see them go, we may want to stop and think about our attitude and how that may help the situation or relationship.