Everything Rises And Falls On…Attitude
By: Emily Cummins
Growing up, my Daddy has always shared with me the latest John Maxwell leadership books, podcasts, asked intentional questions to challenge me and help me grow, and encouraged me as I’m becoming who God made me to be. At 9-years-old, one of the first books he gave me was The Winning Attitude by John Maxwell—and I still have this book and it remains the core foundation for my leadership today.
One statement I’ve heard over and over is that everything rises and falls on leadership. I couldn’t agree more. We’ve all experienced leadership wins, flops, and frustrations. Our experiences are very much tied to the leadership surrounding us and the leadership we’re bringing to the table ourselves. What we choose to do with our leadership matters.
And beneath each of our leadership hats is an eight-letter word that makes all the difference: attitude.
Recently a leader shared with me that for his business he only hires for attitude, not talent. “Talent,” he shared, “is something I can teach. I can train anyone to do tasks. A person has a positive attitude or they don’t. In athletics, a person is fast or they’re not. I can train for skill.”
As a leader, I’m learning several key truths that are helping me keep my attitude in check:
Being right is highly overrated.
I don’t know everything, and I never will. There are—and will be—many times when a team member or direct supervisor will lead out differently than I would. And that’s ok! If it’s not illegal or immoral, the best way I can lead is by bringing the best Emily to the table and helping the project be the best that it can be, supporting, encouraging and partnering with those around me.
Experience is what you make it.
I’ll never forget coming home after transferring to a new school, looking my parents in the eyes and saying, “Ugh. I just don’t like it. It’s not what I thought it would be like.” Without missing a beat, my Daddy looked at me and said, “Emily, experience is what you make it.” That was a valuable lesson for me. Now, every time I step into a situation that hasn’t unpacked exactly how I thought, dreamed, prayed or planned, I remember those words: experience is what you make it. And my experience is rooted in my attitude. When I choose to show up and make it a good experience regardless of the circumstances swirling around me, I can guarantee a good experience—even if it’s simply learning, taking notes and observing how I would or wouldn’t want to lead in the future.
This situation/experience doesn’t define who I am, unless I give it permission.
This truth has been huge when my attitude begins to slip. Regardless of what I’m facing—awesome or not-so-awesome—circumstances, situations and people don’t define me, unless I allow them to. I am defined by my heavenly Father and when I live rooted in that truth, I can conquer anything. As Eleanor Roosevelt so wisely said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Emotions are fleeting feelings; my attitude is a choice directly influencing everything I do. Frustration, worry, confusion, excitement, disgust, and anger are emotions that can dissipate just as quickly as they come—emotions are temporary feelings. My attitude is not an emotion, but rather a choice for how I will respond in a circumstance or situation. I may emotionally be hurt or confused or over-the-top excited; however, my emotions should not dictate my leadership. Understanding that my attitude directly influences everything I do and who I become, I choose to have a good attitude despite my feelings. This isn’t a fake response or choosing to throw authenticity out the window; rather, it’s an intentional decision to share authentically how I feel and root my leadership decisions and responses in a positive attitude.
Everything rises and falls on leadership. And what we do with our leadership matters because in the art of leading, we’re partnering with people to reach their full potential, becoming who God made them to be. And the secret sauce behind great leadership? Attitude. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”233″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Emily is a University of Florida and College of Central Florida grad who is passionate about partnering with churches and people to reach their full potential and effectively share their story through digital communication strategies. She also founded and leads a community and resource for women, BecomingMe.TV, encouraging, empowering and equipping women as they’re becoming who God made them to be.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]