Attitude 101 explores the basics of understanding and defining the reality of attitude. John Maxwell is one of the most well known and most prolific authors on the subject of leadership. Dr. Maxwell is now producing the 101 series that gives a short and concise treatment of leadership topics for quick and easy understanding.
Attitude 101 gives a basic view of how attitude impacts the lives of leaders and everyone else on a daily basis. Dr Maxwell breaks his teaching on attitude into three basic sections: How attitude impacts the lives of people, how attitudes are formed and how attitudes affect the future.
1. The impact of attitude
Many times the difference between success and failure is having the right mental attitude. Dr. Maxwell recalls a basketball team that he was on that had the potential to make the state finals. The team had great talent and even greater potential but was stopped short because of attitude. The attitude of the team kept them from reaching their potential and made them have a mediocre season when they could have gone much farther.
Attitude makes an incredible difference in the lives of leaders because it shapes their leadership and influences those around them. Dr Maxwell makes the following observations about the impact of attitude on teams. Great talent plus rotten attitudes equals a bad team. Great talent plus good attitudes equals a great team. (p. 5)
The reality is that personal potential will never rise above personal attitude. Attitude does so much for people that allows them to either succeed or fail in life. There are many people with a positive attitude that have not reached high levels of success but there are extremely few people who have bad attitudes that reach any level of success. Attitude will always place a cap on personal potential.
How people start a specific task often determines the outcome more than anything else. Beginning a task with a positive attitude will help the work be accomplished. Starting a task with a poor attitude almost always results in failure.
2. The formation of attitude
The reality of attitude is that is formed from a combination of factors. Attitude stems from factors in personality. Each of the different personality types tends to have a different outlook and attitude toward life. Environment applies to attitude in important ways. The environment a person lives in often shapes and molds their attitude for either positive or negative. Attitude is shaped also by the words we hear and the acceptance we receive. When people are given positive reinforcements and acceptance they are much more likely to have positive attitudes.
Maxwell identifies eight choices that help change the personal attitude (p. 44-55)
a. Evaluate your present attitude
b. Realize that faith is greater than fear
c. Write a statement of purpose
* Write specifically what you want to accomplish each day
* Verbalize to an encouraging friend what you want to accomplish each day
* Take action on your goal each day
e. Have the desire to change
f. Live one day at a time
g. Change your thought patterns
h. Develop good habits
i. Continually choose to have the right attitude
This chapter alone was worth the price of the book. Dr. Maxwell lays out a clear and simple plan for personal growth and attitude change. Following these simple but effective steps can clearly help anyone be able to change their attitude and improve their outlook on life. Change is only possible when people have the willingness and the right strategy. Dr. Maxwell provides the strategy and readers need to provide the willingness
3. The future with the right attitude
One of the realities of a positive attitude is the ability to have a right perspective on failure. Every person has experienced failure at some point or another in their life. The way people react and respond to failure will determine whether they allow the failure to set them back or help move them forward.
Success is often accompanied by hard work, talent and the right mental attitude. There is no way to measure the impact of a positive mental attitude on the success of the future. Embracing the future with a positive outlook can only improve the chances for success.
Dr. Maxwell closes the book with an exploration of the willingness to change and grow in the area of attitude. Leaders need to be willing to give up where they are right now to move to a higher level of leading. Many times leaders are satisfied with where they are that they fail to see climbing higher requires further sacrifice and further efforts. John Maxwell lays out an incredible understanding on the topic of attitude that is easy to grasp and understand. Attitude 101 is for anyone who wishes to improve their attitude and their life. With the right attitude people can climb and soar to new heights in life.