Choose your attitude
In order to consistently perform to the peak of your ability and have the best chance of delivering the results that you crave, it's really important that you understand where to focus the power of choice.
Having worked with Olympians over the past 15 years, we've learnt some very important lessons regarding the choices that have to be made in order to maximise the chances of success, when that success is defined by a handful of days every four years. It’s not an option to wake up on the morning of an Olympic final and to throw in the towel because you don't feel 'quite right'. The prospect of having to wait for the next opportunity focuses the mind to consider the choices you need to be great at making on a daily basis and for those unique, high performance moments that will be gone all too quickly.
Attitude choice is one of the most infrequently used high performance skills, usually because people are in such a rush to cut to the action and tick things off that they are constantly adding to their to-do list and they forget to check whether they are in the best place to deliver their best performance. Equipment is regularly checked to see if it's up to the job, along with the technical or tactical content required for a particular event. Seldom though is the real equipment that is delivering the performance checked for complete readiness. 'Is my attitude spot on for this situation?'. 'Am I thinking the right way?'. 'Is my mood as it needs to be?' You can have all the technical readiness in the world, but if these three questions can't be answered with a firm 'yes', then chances are you won't deliver your best possible performance. You'll probably do OK, but sometimes, OK just isn't good enough.
Attitudes influence our behaviour; just think about how your attitude towards certain people determines how much time you choose to spend with them, or how you choose to speak to them. Therefore, making sure that we've got the best possible attitude to drive the best possible behaviours is a choice that we can't afford not to take. Not checking our attitude in order to provide ourselves with an opportunity to refine or change it, could be seen as being professionally negligent.
Along with attitudes, you need to be great at choosing your thoughts and your moods. Great bodies of emotional intelligence are available and provide compelling evidence as to why the ability to choose your mindset and mood is much more than simply being nice to people. There is a bottom line impact to be had from consistently choosing your thoughts and feelings, and the impact becomes ever-greater the more senior your leadership position. So, which thoughts, feelings and attitudes will maximise your chances of success for the rest of this week? The choice is yours.