I remember being over the Indian Ocean in a small plane with one of our missionaries. The pilot asked me, “Would you like to fly? All you have to do is keep the attitude meter above the horizon line on the gauge.” The moment my hands touched the wheel, the engine DIED! It turned out to be a minor fuel oversight, but I did repent of every sin I have ever committed in those few seconds. I always heard the phrase, “Attitude determines altitude.” Great leaders have great attitudes. They always keep their sights above the line. They know if they let that attitude dip below the line, they will eventually crash.
Here are four personal attitudes I regularly check:
1. An attitude of humility
- The whole “big shot/little shot” thing has to go. God has great leaders worldwide, not just in your little group! Anyone who thinks they are a big deal hasn’t travelled much.
- A conceited leader is hard to stomach. They are full of themselves like Absalom. His hair was so thick and long that he got “caught up” in a tree. Beware when you get “caught up” in yourself!
2. An attitude of serving
- I grow weary of being around someone who is always looking out for number one. They analyze every project based on how it will impact their time schedule. They determine where every vacation will be spent. They always stand first in line at the buffet!
- Lift your attitude up. Spend time thinking about how you can help the team achieve their goals, their dreams, their promotion. Offer to let another team member have the best day off. Take the “grunt” job in the group project. Be sure a quieter member of the group has the opportunity to choose the destination.
3. An attitude of gratitude
- “Gratitude” is the opposite of “grumbling.” The individual who always opposes, finds fault, resists change, and looks backward can poison an entire team.
- In Winnie the Pooh, the donkey named “Eeyore” has a continual case of pessimism. Nothing is possible or convenient. Every direction the group takes is fraught with difficulties and impossibilities.
- Listen to yourself. Has everything in your world become sour, negative, and unattainable? Remember that only two of the twelve spies entered Canaan while the other ten died in the desert.
4. An attitude of honor
- Our present culture thrives on “dishonor.” Everybody is “dissing” each other. Even presidential debates now feature who had the greatest challenge to another person’ dignity.
- Call people by their title. Say “yes sir” to the lowliest clerk or worker. Let every person feel respected by you. Stand up when others enter the room, even family members. “Lean in” when another person is conversing with you to show respect for their contributions.
What if everyone modified their attitude at home, at work, and in the community? Our group, our team, our church, our nation would change.
That change starts with YOU…your attitude.
What attitude is the hardest for you to adjust?