In the movie Remember the Titans, the story follows the integration of two high schools in Virginia. Herman Boone (Denzel Washington) is hired as head football coach in a very emotionally charged situation. At any point, something bad could erupt. Yet, the movie captures the attitude transformation of the team. The team captain, who was an All-American defensive player, finds himself complaining about the selfishness of another player. Yet, this captain wasn’t supporting the head coach’s philosophy of becoming a successful team. Only when the leaders on the team supported the team strategy did the team start being successful.
Good leaders understand the importance of a good attitude in building an effective organization. Everyone loves a winner, but many people forget the struggles to the top. Yet, emerging leaders understand the need for teambuilding and leadership development. In the textbook Contemporary Management, Gareth Jones and Jennifer George make the case for greater emotional intelligence by managers.
Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to understand and manage one’s own mood as well as the mood of others. They argue that managers will better be able to relate to their employees. Understanding employees as well as customers is a necessity for successful organizations. Jim Cathcart, sales expert, further suggests that the attitude of a salesperson can make or break a sale. He notes that customers want to know that the salesperson cares about them. Is it different in your industry?
Given this framework, managers would understand that it does not ay to exhibit a bad attitude with their workers. According to a Carnegie Foundation survey, 85% of an individual’s success in life is attributed to a person’s ability to deal with people and manage his or her self. Therefore, a positive attitude by manages may contribute greatly toward organizational profitability in the long run.
Great leaders can set the tone for an organization. In fact, leadership expert Dr. Bruce Winston notes that employees want leaders who can move an organization in a positive direction during stormy times. Furthermore, John C. Maxell, author of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, argues the significance of a good attitude:
“If you want outstanding results, you need good people with great talent and awesome attitudes. When attitudes go up, so does the potential of the team.”
When a selfish person leads an organization, it can have a negative impact on the organization. In fact, a bad attitude can damage the work culture. The results can go well beyond the bottom-line for most corporations. Therefore, a good attitude does matter, Captain!
Does your organization support the concept of EI? If not, why? How do leaders ensure that they have the right attitude for the job?
© 2010 by Daryl D. Green