What is Attitude, Really?

Attitude IS Everything!

Why?  Because attitude influences everything we say and do.  Winston Churchill explained it this way…  “Attitude is the little thing that makes a big difference.”  Another wise man, W. Clement Stone, had his own definition.  “There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude and the big difference is whether it is positive or negative.”

Today’s message is dedicated to some game-changing attitudes.

Work Ethic…
“If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry.  He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.”
    
– Martin Luther King Jr.

Forward or Backward…
“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you are right.”
    
– Henry Ford

Emotional Response…
“People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.”
    
– John C. Maxwell

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

Choice…
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor E. Frankl

Excellence…
“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.”
– Colin Powell

Relationships…
“Our attitude towards others determines their attitude towards us.”
– Earl Nightingale

You can learn a lot about your own attitudes by looking back at certain actions you took and the ones you neglected.  You can also predict which actions you will take and its probable outcomes by recognizing and understanding your attitudes.  For example, what is your attitude about personal and professional development?  How will this attitude impact your life?  Zig Ziglar would have responded this way…

“You were born to win. But to be the winner you were born to be, you gotta plan to win and prepare to win. Then and only then can you legitimately expect to win.”
– Zig Ziglar

What’s In a Name?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name
would smell as sweet.”
   — William Shakespeare

Where Do Names Come From?

Does a name really matter?  The Affordable Care Act was given its name before it was implemented and tested in the marketplace.  Based on this fact, one must conclude that the name was chosen either for its intentions and/or to influence public opinion.  What other reasons could there be?

What comes first, the name or the reason for the name?  I suppose a name can be arbitrarily assigned for no other reason than we need a word for it.  Even so, the name eventually takes on meaning and significance, sometimes more than the object itself.  The Cleveland Browns is a franchise consisting of players, coaches, supporting staff and stadium.  This includes the heritage and the name.  In 1995, when the owner made plans to move the franchise to Baltimore, the city threatened legal action.  The team name was so important that it became a major bargaining chip in the compromise that in the end, allowed the owner to move the team to Baltimore, but leave the name behind.

Names are assigned to something that is real or at least created in the mind.  I’m not aware of any situation where someone created a name first then set out to make something that fit it.  “Google!”  That’s a cool word.  I think I’ll make a Google this week, IF I can decide what it is.”

Business Development – A Confusing Name

Sometimes a name takes on brand new meaning even to the point where it has so many meanings that the name becomes confusing.  This brings us to the topic of the week: business development.  Some people associate it with the sales function.  Others would say business development is about building infrastructure or strategic business relationships.  Product development is another perspective. So which is it?

What you most often associate with business development probably depends on your personal perspective.  Here are two definitions that bring clarity to the name and accommodate our multiple perspectives:

“Business development is … the process of uncovering the “unknown unknowns” that can help to grow a company. The key is to focus on specific metrics that define growth for your business and then seek out the partnerships, people and products that increase those metrics.”
— Source:  www.businessinsider.com

“In 1997, the international Committee of Donors for Small Enterprise Development coined the term ‘business development service’ to describe services that improve the performance of the enterprise, its access to markets, and its ability to compete.  BDS includes training, counselling and advice, developing commercial entities, technology development and transfer, information, and business linkages.”
— Source: www.ilo.org

I like both of these definitions for their strong emphasis on people.  Even more, I like what Zig Ziglar said.  “You don’t build a business –you build people– and then people build the business.”

Clay Mathile, former owner of IAMS, once said this, “When you invest a dollar in a person, you get $10 back.  When you invest a dollar in a machine, you get $2 back.”

People are the intended beneficiaries of business development.  They are also the cause of it.  Therefore, business development is “of the people, by the people, for the people”.  Any activity that develops people is at the heart of developing business.  For this reason, I am proud to say that Wright Cross Performance Group, a company that develops people, is in the business development business.

CLICK HERE for business development opportunities the Ziglar Way!


 

Integrity and Honor

[ H=Heart | Index | J=Joviality ]

Series: The ABC’s of Professionalism

A familiar story with a new sequel every two years, cheating Olympians, completely baffles me. Why are certain athletes willing to trade their integrity for an Olympic medal? Why are certain coaches and/or trainers willing to look the other way or even aid and abet? Don’t they realize that wearing a gold medal and being an Olympic champion are not equivalent? There is no victory in cheating.

“Winning is nice if you don’t lose your integrity in the process.” — attributed to Arnold Horshak, character in the television sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter”

“…a gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if you’re not enough without one, you’ll never be enough with one.” — from the Disney movie “Cool Runnings”

Playing by the rules is more than sportsmanship. It is a reflection of honesty: honesty toward others and honesty with one’s self. And isn’t honesty at the heart of integrity? There’s another integrity aspect: having and following a “moral compass.”

“Integrity means adopting a morally strong value system and having the honesty, courage and conviction to live and act within these values.” — Clancy Cross

This definition leads to two thoughts. First, integrity is an inside job, which means it’s a personal decision.

“We choose what attitudes we have right now. And it’s a continuing choice.” — John C. Maxwell

“The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That’s the day we truly grow up.” — John C. Maxwell

Second, integrity is so important to building and maintaining relationships that a person’s greatest gift may be to live a life of integrity that inspires and encourages others to raise their standards and commitment to integrity. Ideally, an integrity foundation is built in the home during the formative childhood years and is forever nurtured by teachers, pastors, friends, colleagues and others.

“The reward for doing right is mostly an internal phenomenon: self-respect, dignity, integrity, and self- esteem.” — Dr. Laura Schlessinger

“Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you.” — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

“The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him.” — Bible, Proverbs 20:7

“The effect of one upright individual is incalculable.” — Oscar Arias

“The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.” — Socrates

This ideal picture of integrity breaks down because inevitably, moral and ethical principles will be violated. The realization that human perfection is unachievable is not a new revelation. So, how can there be integrity when everyone commits violations against his own principles? It would seem that the only logical alternative for avoiding universal hypocrisy is to adopt a personal philosophy devoid of moral principles. Some would say “moral relativism” is an attempt to do just that. (That’s a topic for another day.) Actually, the paradox dissolves when we fully understand the final piece of integrity.

“Honor isn’t about making the right choices. It’s about dealing with the consequences.” — Midori Koto

How does a person of integrity respond to his own moral failings? First, he makes a humble admission of and apology for the offense, totally free of excuses. Conversely, “I’m sorry I did it, but …” is hardly an effective confession. Second, the person of integrity takes ownership of the consequences and makes appropriate reparations. Finally, integrity demands a commitment to do better. After that, the rest is up to those who were offended. Will they forgive? Will they hold a grudge? Whatever the aggrieved party decides, a person of the highest integrity will accept the verdict with grace and move on.

Humility is what allows integrity to survive moral indiscretions. Even so, it’s important to realize that it takes more time to develop integrity than to destroy it and even more time to restore it when it is damaged. While Integrity has some room for errors, just one momentary indiscretion has the potential to be a major setback against a lifetime of progress. This implies that people serious about their integrity should behave as if any violation will destroy it and when necessary, respond with humility and urgency to restore it.

“Honor is like a steep island without a shore: one cannot return once one is outside.” — Nicholas Boileau-Despréaux

“Character is much easier kept than recovered.” — Thomas Paine, author, statesman

“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” — William Shakespeare

Life without integrity is a miserable and pathetic existence. So, in a sense, hanging on to integrity is a matter of life and death.

“What is left when honor is lost?” — Publilius Syrus (~100 BC), Maxims

“Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future and crimes from society.” — Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

God bless,

— CC

[ H=Heart | Index | J=Joviality ]

© Copyright September 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
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