Positive Leadership has also been recognised as a Top 50 Leadership Expert to Follow on Twitter.

Follow us on Twitter @posleadership


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Attitude is a Key Value of Positive Leadership

At Positive Leadership, we define attitude as an overall outlook on life, a mind-set or way of thinking that affects everything that you do. It's your demeanour.

Attitudes can be either positive or negative. The notion of a positive attitude can be looked at from a whole variety of important dimensions, including courage, confidence, passion, enthusiasm, humour, patience, happiness and humility. A positive attitude often includes a simple smile.

While it's more common to promote a positive attitude, negative aspects can pop-up quite easily -- like arrogance, selfishness, complaining, comparing and judging others. These are dimensions of attitude that don't serve us well or for very long.

For this occasion, let's look at attitude from a couple of perspectives, enthusiasm and optimism.

Enthusiasm is derived from the Greek word for spirit. When you're enthusiastic, what spiritual well are you calling upon? Some say it's a virtue that inspires others to action even while it pushes fear and worry away for others.

Enthusiasm is contagious, but you can't pass it on unless you've got it yourself. George Bernard Shaw once said, “A candle loses nothing by lighting another.”

Greeting people with “I'm feeling great today” rather than just “I'm fine” or “OK” can set the tone for your conversations. Think about how a smile communicates your attitude. And a good belly laugh can really feel great, too.

People just naturally want to be around others who are upbeat. Enthusiasm is an attitude that we can choose.

Some wise person once said that an optimist is a human manifestation of spring. And springtime is when we're looking forward, we're planting, we're starting new projects, we're upbeat. This kind of positive outlook is a huge asset for anyone -- students, teachers, parents and leaders.

Humility is another valuable element of attitude. While some people think of this quality as meekness -- some say weakness -- it's more about respect and an unpretentious way of holding yourself.

As opposed to exalting yourself, it's about having a healthy ego. To many people, humility is born from one's spiritual perspective and has to do with yielding to a higher power, however you conceive of that. In the end, if you say you're humble, you're probably not.

There are lots of ways to work on your attitude. Here are just a few: be courageous and take calculated risks; try being patient; have confidence in your abilities; be open to seeing new possibilities; start your day with quiet reflection; and be grateful for the blessings you've received.

Viktor Frankl, the Holocaust survivor, once referred to attitude as “the last of the human freedoms.” Attitude is a choice. Choose well !

Positive Leadership

It's hard to believe Clint Eastwood will be 80 this coming year.

Do you remember him from the Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns of the mid-'60s? Grizzled and unyeilding, you had no doubt this was a true tough guy. Then through his Dirty Harry era he continued to evolve the tough guy persona, growing even meaner as he aged. In 1971 he caught the directing bug and shot his first film, "Play Misty for Me," in which he also starred. This was a haunting and often frightening tale of a disk jockey that is stalked by an obsessive fan. Even in his first film, a critical favourite, you could see the flashes of a great American storyteller.

Eastwood had proven to be versatile, tackling subjects as diverse as World War II and Blues music. He also had a very deft hand with the Western, reinvigorating the genre with "Unforgiven." So much so that we can often excuse him for the occasional clunker like "Space Cowboys" or "The Rookie". In "Invictus," Eastwood once again strikes Oscar-worthy gold with the inspiring true story of Nelson Mandela's quest to unite an apartheid-torn South Africa by winning the Rugby World Cup.

Teaming up once again with old friend Morgan Freeman (very convincingly as Mandela), they tell a story of hope, courage and the inspiration of positive leadership. Mandela, after spending 30 years as a political prisoner, is elected the president of South Africa — a South Africa deeply divided after decades of apartheid and rife with crime, economic chaos and social injustice. His quest, initially, is to bring the nation together through the universal uniter of sport. The only problem is, the South African rugby team, the Springboks, are not that great. Often disorganised, more often uninspired, the Springbok team has become something of an embarrassment for the country. Lead by Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon), the squad struggles until Mandela sees the potential for unification and invites Pienaar to afternoon tea to plant the seed of a World Cup Championship.

Both Damon and Freeman give inspired performances, performances that could easily have fallen into preachiness. Here, however, under the skilled direction of Eastwood, both actors give a performance that is subtle and inspiring. Freeman becomes Mandela and channels his soft spoken, positive energy perfectly. Damon, as the rugby team captain, gives a strong performance as a man shifting through the sea of change, embracing it and becoming a driving force within his country.

Not a sports movie nor a political movie, "Invictus" is a story about hope and change. Eastwood illustrates the great spirit within man to unite in a common spirit that can overcome any obstacles.

This could easily have been a film that spoke down to the audience. Instead, Eastwood delivers an inspired message that should be welcome by all.