When I was growing up, my dad would tell me more often that I care to admit, “Son, don’t give me an attitude!” It was usually when I was doing something that was contrary to what he wanted me to do.

If he wanted the grass cut and I thought that I had a better idea, then I would tell him. He would kindly tell me that the grass needed to get cut again, and I would come up with a better plan, or so I thought.

Looking back on these many occurrences now, I realize that I had the aptitude (skill) to cut the grass, but my attitude was not in line.

This seems to be prevalent in today’s work force. I found a staggering statistic that really helped me understand this concept better.

Research tracked 20,000 new hires and found that 46% of them failed within 18 months. But even more surprising than the failure rate was that when the new hires failed, 89% of the time was for attitudinal reasons, and only 11% of the time was for a lack of skill!

Read that again and let that sink in …

So, we all have an attitude, as I am learning. It is just up to us which one we want to share with others. The funny thing is that when I gave my dad a poor attitude it never got me delivered from cutting the grass. Typically it got me punishment that was added on to the task I already had to do. If you have ever been to a baseball game and watched the coach storm out onto the field after what he thought was a bad call, did you ever see the umpire reverse his call after all the ranting and raving that the coach did? I have either played in or watched thousands of baseball/softball games, and never once did the bad attitude of the coach get him anymore than ejected from the game. So it is in business!

It seems that many of us allow our environment to dictate our attitude. How many of you are having a bad day today, or know someone in the office that you should just “stay away” from today? Why do we allow ourselves to have bad days? Why do we allow that bad attitude to creep into our existence?

I do a lot of hiring for my clients. And I sit in a lot of interviews and sadly a lot of people bring the bad attitude even to an interview! Please, do us all a favor and realize that you are the only one that controls your attitude. And just because you are the best in your field, or the best in your office, remember, the attitude is what will get you noticed much more that the aptitude. If you do not agree with me, then I encourage you to re-read the above statistic. 9 out of 10 people that fail at their job, fail because of their attitude, not their aptitude.

If you want to learn more about this, I have a list of five tips for having a positive attitude in business. You can email me at dave@positivepolarity.com and ask for “Five Tips to be Positive” and I will gladly send it to you.

So, give me an attitude, please … just make it a positive one. We will both be much better off!

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