Working Together: Attitude

Once a team has come together (that is, been hired), the work of the director, supervisor, and teammates really begins. It is work that is never-ending – if we are doing it right!

The longer I live, the more I realize the tremendous impact of attitude in a work environment. For years, as a means of emphasizing this, I have been using the following little formula with my teams. I’m not sure where this came from originally, but my thanks – many times over – to its author.

Food For Thought…

We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to produce over 100%. Here’s a little math that might prove helpful in the future.

What makes life 100%?

is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

H-A-R-D-W-O-R-K (8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11) = ONLY 98%

K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E (11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5) = ONLY 96%.

A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E (1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5) = 100%.

It stands to reason that HARD WORK and KNOWLEDGE will get you close, but ATTITUDE will get you to the top.

Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think, say, or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.

It will make or break an organization, a child care center, a home.

The remarkable thing is that we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace – just for that day!

We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we CAN do is play the one card we have – and that is our attitude.

I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. So, I offer the following challenge to you:

  • Join me in working on our collective attitude – wherever you find yourself, in whatever work situation, in whatever position you hold. It begins with one! And, it is contagious.
  • Be the pebble in the water – and watch the ripples form and spread. Make the shift from negative, complaining, and gossiping, to positive, acknowledging the good, and passing on encouragement, praise, and congratulations. There is so much more going right than going wrong!! And sometimes, as directors, we forget this!

Your thoughts?

In the next several posts, I will share thoughts, strategies, and sanity-saving tips to keep you calm, poised, balanced (and helpful) when “situations” arise. For, arise they will. It is a given.

We’ll talk about communicating effectively, being a good listener, the poisonous snake called gossip, the characteristics of the best teachers, difficult people, mediating staff conflict, and the progressive discipline model when things just aren’t going well.

So, stay tuned…

This entry was posted in Early Childhood, Early Childhood Leadership, Early Childhood Teachers, Managing Early Childhood Programs, Training for Early Childhood Directors. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Working Together: Attitude

  1. Jeff Bennett says:

    I surely agree that attitude… if positive… can be an important catalyst.

    I think that passion is an interesting additive to attitude. Passion is an all encompassing commitment. When someone is passionate about something it is a part of them…and it propels someone beyond a 40 hour work week.

    I think that persistence is another interesting additive to attitude. Generally with persistence comes a blinding focus where there will be no yielding until the job is done. Failure is not an option.

    There have been many a genius who could not accomplish diddly. It surely helps to be smart but it is most times not enough. Smarts + Attitude can move mountains…especially when you are passionate and persistent!

    • Marcia Hebert says:

      Jeff – Love your thinking! I couldn’t agree more. By the way, are you psychic? Wait until you see one of my upcoming posts – your “p” words (passion, persistence) and a few more, are there!! Sort of completes the picture of a team working toward a common goal, doesn’t it? Again, love the dialogue. Thanks for taking the time to write.

  2. Carolyn says:

    Thanks Marcia! I needed this 🙂

  3. Paulette says:

    Thank you for this reminder. It so applies to our work and life in general. Nicely worded and presented!

  4. Maria says:

    Thanks! I really needed to be reminded especially after this week. Attitude is everything and I hope it becomes contagious soon:)

  5. katherine Young says:

    Marcia, love your blog! It was forwarded to me from one of your past employees, Lynne. I copied the attitude dialogue and sent it to my teenage son and neice. Just another “Mom” message and words of wisdom to share and apply to your life. Thanks

    • Marcia Hebert says:

      Thank you, Katherine. Happy to have you and your team along for the ride! Feel free to pass these posts and this blog site along to others. It’s all about sharing, isn’t it?! Stay tuned …

  6. Johnnie says:

    Thank you I need to take this information to my work place and post it

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