The attributes that make a great employee or leader have long been discussed and debated. Intensity, drive, and risk-taking are a few that are often top of mind. A less highly regarded, but equally (if not more) important, part of being successful? A good attitude.
I recently took a major fall of about 10 feet, landing on a concrete floor. It nearly killed me, and I was in the hospital for months — so I thought I would share what I learned from this experience. The purpose of this post is to explain why I consider attitude to be so important in business today.
While my accident led to a long, trying hospital stay, I kept my head up. I was in the hospital for months and months, but one thing made me different from every other patient: I never complained and I never stopped smiling.
Vic, my occupational therapist, used to come into my room and he would say, "Jeff, every time I see you, you are in a great mood and smiling. That is so impressive. Is it part of your upcoming speech?" "Yes," I told him. I smiled despite the fact that I was wearing a halo (see photo) 24 hours a day. Even at night I slept in this monstrosity.
Amongst my fellow patients, I heard complaints about pain and a reluctance to exercise. When asked to get out of a wheelchair and stand, one man said, "I can't." But he could!
In contrast, I walked up a set of six steps slowly — which exhausted me. My therapist congratulated me on a job well done. I told her, "Today, I went up the steps once. Tomorrow, I'm going up twice. The next day, three times, and so forth." "Holy cow," she said. "That is so impressive." By the time I was done, I went up the steps 12 times without a rest!
In addition, I never complained about the halo on my head, despite the fact that my head never could touch the pillow when I was sleeping. But inside I knew that this situation was not forever, and that complaining accomplishes nothing. So I never complained.
When I finally left the hospital, an injured professional pianist in the room next door said, "Jeff, I'm sorry to see you go. You have been a great inspiration for all of us. Your attitude has been wonderful and a great example for all of us."
There is a saying, "Smile, and the whole world smiles with you." I agree 100 percent.
If you want to be well-regarded and well-liked—even in a senior management role like Chief Marketing Officer, then smile no matter what. It might even win you a nicely paid keynote speech, like it did me.
I'd love to know what you think. Leave me some comments below.
Jeff Ogden, the Fearless Competitor, is an award-winning marketing and sales expert at the sales lead generation company Find New Customers. Creator and host of the popular and syndicated show, Marketing Made Simple TV, he interviews the best and brightest business leaders. Find Jeff @fearlesscomp on Twitter, visit Marketing Made Simple TV on Facebook, or connect with him on LinkedIn. Jeff is also a popular keynote speaker on marketing and social media.
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