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Why Our Attitude Can Be the Deciding Factor

Attitude & Leadership

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. ~Thomas Edison

Did you know that the difference lies in our attitude?

We all have tripped somewhere along the way. After all, personal failures start at the earliest of ages. What’s more is the fact that with many of our greatest leaders, we usually hear about their grand successes in the headlines. Unless we’re willing to take the time to learn more about them, we may never hear about the multiple failures along the way.

Our greatest attribute is resilience. We have two choices: give up or try again. It’s really that simple. This is when it points back to our attitude: 1) either stand back up, brush the dirt off, and try again or 2) throw in the towel.

When you really think about it, it’s our ego that got bruised.

When we reflect on some of the greatest leaders of our time, we can identify what separates them from the rest. It’s no different for us.

What’s really interesting is that studies show that our attitude is a better predictor of success than our IQ. Obviously, I am a big fan of training and education. I do support the notion that we need some knowledge in our toolbox to make life easier on us. However, I completely agree that the key difference between successful people and not-so-successful ones lies largely in their attitude.

It’s quite interesting, if you sit back and think about it for a minute, the number of people who have reached great measures of success and who tripped along the way – versus those who have never failed before. Studies show that those who have never failed are more likely to back down or quit at the sight of looming failure (Michou, Vansteenkiste, Mouratidis, & Lens, 2014).

We can look at this through two lenses:

  • Those who are accustomed to success are going to be easy competition because when the going gets tough, they are likely the ones to bail (before admitting to possible failure)
  • Those who are accustomed to the challenge of success (i.e. tripping along the way) are going to be better as long-term top performers

Click here to read about a few more reasons why our attitude is more important than our IQ.

Michou, Vansteenkiste, Mouratidis, & Lens. (2014). Enriching the Hierarchical Model of Achievement Motivation: Autonomous and Controlling Reasons Underlying Achievement Goals. British Journal of Educational Psychology.