As a leader, do you bring someone on your team for their talent and skill, or do you place a higher emphasis on attitude? When you think about the value that an organization delivers to a customer, you may question if attitude is the most important trait in a team member.
Much has been written about the power of attitude, but I want to offer a unique insight that may challenge you to reconsider the attitudes of those on your team.
I propose that attitude has much more to do with providing value than either talent or skill. The concept of value is determined in the eyes of the beholder. To prove that, all you must do is look at the different value propositions in the world of travel.
On an airplane, there are more expensive seats available in first class and cheaper tickets in coach. If you want an exit row or a seat near the front, then you must pay more. The plane will get from Point A to Point B either way, but the customers must decide what is valuable to them. We need our team focused on delivering value.
Part of that focus includes their ability to enhance value with an attitude appropriate for the type of service and product delivered. The people serving on your team could be influencing customer perspectives more than you may realize. An audit of where in the team’s history attitude has held back value is insightful. Where is attitude holding back value on your team right now?
Asking where attitude is holding your team back may identify some blind spots. Others will not be so easy to identify, and it’s important to remember that identification itself does not improve attitude. It takes a deep level of communication to make progress about attitudes. How is your leadership trained to lead those discussions?
If you cannot point to the specific training in place for the leaders, then it can likely be improved upon. The truth is there is almost always room for improvement when discussing attitude, and an organization is never at 100% between the attitudes of all team members.
The last question to consider is who has the authority to monitor the attitude of the organization and team? An organization of team members aligned in attitude may be an asset that the competition lacks.
You can probably identify businesses you’ve used in the past and now no longer do. Where was the attitude wrong with that business team? Did it affect the value you received? How did a competitor become a better fit, and what was the change in the attitude you perceived and appreciated?
These questions might lead you to think who in that past company had the authority to fix issues of attitude. If you give someone authority to increase the asset of attitude, consider it to be a significant investment. If it is considered a short-term investment, then it will not likely pay off. If it’s considered a long-term investment, then attitudes will shift for the long term, and the organization will shift up as a result.
Many employers are struggling with the impacts of COVID-19 and the ways in which it has changed our society. Attitudes have definitely played a role during this pandemic.
As leaders, we do not get the pleasure of not knowing when and how to act. Take time to audit the attitudes in your organization during this interruption, so you and your teams are better prepared for a new normal.
Aligning attitudes with your team members will reduce friction, improve efficiencies, and improve communication. It is simple, but it is not easy.
Mark Queen is founder at CoreScore, LLC. His experience as an entrepreneurial navigator and coach to leadership teams has explored the costs of attitude misalignment.