Core #4   Attitude Affects Altitude

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”                 –  Zig Ziglar


Zig Ziglar is regarded as one of the greatest business minds of our time. He has coined many phrases, thoughts, and business ideas that have been the source of knowledge and inspiration for many. His books have sold in the millions and his thoughts on business concepts have shaped many of the leaders of today. His insights on the keys to success have impacted business philosophies and created ways in which many have succeeded. The above phrase has influenced the way we look at the individual employee and what they bring to the transaction between employer and employee. While the employer offers job security, salary, benefits, and a secure workplace, they expect the employee to fulfill the job requirements, be on time, and have a generally good attitude with coworkers as well as customers. When the employer and employee both meet these goals, business generally thrives. If the employee does not fulfill the requirements, which should include a description of expected behavior, problems result. Also, if the employee does not perform their duties with a positive or generally positive attitude, issues arrive that can disrupt the business unit.

When we speak of attitude, we generally are referring to the employee’s way of thinking or feeling that is reflected in their behavior. With Core Principle 4, Attitude Affects Altitude, we build on Zig Ziglar’s quote with a few examples of how his quote reflects on the current job market. With Ziglar, he states the importance of attitude over the overall importance of knowledge. This is because people can learn new ideas, concepts, methods, etc. easier than they can change their attitudes about life in general. An employee’s general attitude can affect the way they are perceived by their leadership. When a person carries a negative, pessimistic attitude, they are generally not considered for leadership roles due to the influential nature of negative attitudes. Employees with positive, uplifting attitudes will reflect the overall perception of a leader. If management must choose between the two contrasting attitudes, they will typically choose the more positive employee. Another issue is that the negative employee may have more skills, knowledge, experience, and adaptability, yet their negative personality may influence others who are not as strong of an employee and diminish the company culture. Management will need to monitor the negative employee at a disproportionate rate because of the effect that this employee can have on the company culture. The employee with a positive outlook will be more favorable to management because they typically influence positive behavior on their coworkers and help increase the company culture and employee engagement.

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