New Thoughts About How Your Attitude Determines Your Success And Failure

When I think like a human resource consultant, I try to figure out what the deciding factor could be when it comes to the success of an organization, an individual, a team, or a business. I often find myself landing in the same spot every time with this question continually popping up every single time, “what is/are the attitude(s) of that person, group and organization. I am reminded of what former Notre Dame coaching great and legend Lou Holtz said in reference to the importance of attitude in winning teams:

Your ABILITY is what you’re capable of doing….MOTIVATION determines what you do… ATTITUDE determines how well you do it

Lou Holtz

So many times in business, sports, or life in general, our attitude is the only barrier standing between us and success. As we see from the quote above, the ability to accomplish something is inherent in all of us, provided we are motivated. But how we get there and our approach (attitude) will ultimately determine our success or failure. Our attitude comes down to three elements according to my findings.

P.S: You can argue it all you want but read on because an attitude change on your part needs to take place right now.

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The first is our outlook. Are we positive or negative? Abraham Lincoln once said: “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” Our outlook will determine, in many cases, whether or not we are destined for success.

The power of positive thinking can go very far in achievement. When I coach individuals, business owners, and team leaders, I tell them that I never think our team or business is ever out of the game, even if I’m behind on any schedule of goal or plan. I continually and intentionally walk, dress, talk, teach and train like I’m going to win and I tell my clients all the time that we are going to win.

I always tell them that I may be crazy, and some actually think I am, but I never believe failure or losing is an option. I consistently believe in a positive outcome. And I will work feverishly to achieve winning, in the end, I always deliver on my promise and they keep wondering how. The secret is encapsulated in my ATTITUDE!

It was Nelson Mandela who stated, “I never lose…I either win or I learn.” Your approach, be it in business, life, or sports, has to be just that: always believe in success and refuse to lose.

Listen carefully, your work ethic has to back that outlook up as well. It’s one thing to always believe in success, but the question that most people are not answering is “are you giving the MAXIMUM effort to achieve success?”

While believing you will not fail is positive, your work ethic must also support this no-fail outlook it else you’re joking or probably deceiving yourself. You decide and choose to make your outlook however you want, but we all must be prepared for the outcome. Step one starts with you, no one else.

Have you ever asked yourself why  “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but why no one thinks of changing themselves first.”


First of all, we look like what we want to become, then Secondly, we must always be aware of our approach, as it is peremptory and necessary that we always strive to do the very best we can on everything we do. Teams, businesses, organizations – none of those can succeed without each of us doing our job to the best of our abilities. We all need to strive to achieve perfection no matter what our role or job is within an organization. We need to have the attitude that we will do the best job we can every minute we are doing the job.

It’s an aberration and complete lunacy that the society is now filled with people who are not willing to give their best and yet they expect the best and fattest payout.

How many of you would want to get into a car that was assembled by disgruntled and estranged individuals who had a bad day, or negative attitudes, which led to them not taking pride in their work; especially if they were working on, let’s say your automobile brakes?

Maybe they were not engaged in the team concept that day and really did not care about doing things right, as much as you would expect. The outcome of bad attitudes can be catastrophic across the entire organization, leading to unsuccessful outcomes as well as detrimental consequences.

The question remains: “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”

It is worth editorializing that your attitude has a profound impact on the success of your team and teammates. Your actions and your approach, good or bad, will be felt by everyone down the line; whether you are first in the chain or the last, your role is felt by everyone.

Again this starts with you and your outlook, and now your approach.

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Lastly, your ability to overcome adversity is critical in what dictates your attitude. Up until now, we have discussed when everything is positive, but none of us are exempt from encountering adversarial circumstances. Pertaining to adversity, I am reminded of two quotes from Lou Holtz:

“Never tell your problems to someone else…20% don’t care and the other 80% are glad you have them.”

“Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity.”

Adversity is indeed an integral part of success. Many times we do not know how strong we are until we face adversity head-on, overcome and succeed.

Why complain? I mean, ultimately it is on us to approach the situation, use a strong outlook, positive approach, and overcome what we did not anticipate when we ventured into the process.

Any success story will always highlight that even in it’s best years, there were bumps along the road to success, how you overcome those bumps is found in your work ethic determination and it will determine your fate, not luck. We all have been in this spot, either professionally or personally.

I am a firm believer that through adversity comes opportunity. The outcome does not define who we are, but rather the route we take to get there is what defines who we are.

The risk we run when we approach anything we do in life with less than a good or positive attitude is simply this…failure. Failure to give everything we have…failure to achieve our goals, objectives, and mission…failure to contribute to our team goals…failure of ourselves.

Your attitude determines whether you’ll end up as a success story or an infamous failure!

It’s up to you to decide, so I hope you make the right one this time.

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