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Published:September 21st, 2009 21:36 EST
Right Attitude Leadership

Right Attitude Leadership

By Dan Goldberg

A while ago I had the privilege of giving the keynote speech at the annual meeting of a company that has been in business since the late 1960`s. The founders, two men now in their seventies, still run the show but they seem to have built an organization that can pretty much run on its own.


They have their children and others firmly in place to enable the company to continue growing and a staff that hasn`t had a turnover of more than ten people, not including part-timers and factory personnel, in over thirty years of existence. The organization has well over three hundred people, many of whom have been with the company forever ".


It`s interesting to me how some companies seem to grow with very little infighting while others have a hard time controlling the troops.


In my discussions with one of the founders he was straight up in telling me what it was that made his organization successful. It was so simple yet so hard for some companies and individuals to grasp, Right Attitude Leadership ". That was it in a nutshell. Having the Right Attitude " was the core value of the company`s philosophy and leadership.


This wasn`t a Johnny-Come-Lately fad that they had just devised. This was a way of life for this group. It was evident in the way they approached their business and the way people interacted. Sure they had their ripples as most businesses do yet on further questioning, I was amazed to find out how minimal they were.


I remember telling another client about their turnover (of course, never mentioning their name as any consultants` clients should be held in confidence when discussing particulars). The reaction was of astonishment! Less than ten people in over thirty years!

What are they doing?


So what is this Right Attitude Leadership " stuff anyway?


First off it`s having respect. Respect for your employees, your customers and yourself.

It`s rewarding innovation and cooperation. It`s making people feel like they`re part of a family, and taking care of folks who take care of you, even when it isn`t the holidays.

It`s knowing peoples` first names, and their spouses` names and letting your employees call you by your first name.


Right Attitude Leadership " is also about knowing that you`re a team. And making sure that all the team members realize that the sales force can`t function without the office personnel, that design or engineering can`t get their jobs completed without cooperation from production and that shipping and inventory control must be on the same page. And most importantly, that everyone is vital to the organization and appreciated!


Of course the position descriptions in your organization may be different but the intent is still the same.


Another way of putting it comes from a chap named William Shakespeare, There`s a ripple effect in all that we do, what you do touches me, what I do touches you. "


Oh so true! Just think about the last few days at work, or for that matter, the last few days period.


There is another way of stating Right Attitude Leadership " that I find intriguing, It`s not what happens to you, but what you do about it. " That kind of says it all.


How often do we let things get us down to the point where it ruins our day, week and even more. With the right attitude you know that Things Happen " It`s a lot better to take care of the situation now! Stand back, figure it out, get help if necessary, listen and act!

Sitting in the corner feeling sorry for yourself or being angry with someone, doesn`t help anything. But it most certainly will get more people disturbed with you than before.


Having Right Attitude Leadership " enables you to:


  • Listen
  • Follow through
  • Be proficient
  • Be responsive
  • Assure others
  • Have integrity
  • Be non-judgmental
  • Collaborate
  • Give complete information
  • Correspond through the written word, so nothing is misunderstood
  • Ask questions
  • Give and receive feedback
  • Listen some more!


And when you do all those things something amazing happens to you, you gain respect.

Respect from others and self respect.


I could also see something else at work at the aforementioned company. The founders actually liked each other, even after thirty years! I could tell that in the way they spoke about each other. I`m sure that permeated down to the relatives in the organization as well as the others in the seventy plus people in attendance from locations up and down the east coast and outside the States and the remaining employees.


It`s funny how nepotism can destroy some companies and make others prosper.

That usually trickles down from the top.


I`ve given enough speeches to get a certain feeling " in the room about the crowd. This one was exceptional. The thirty odd years of Right Attitude Leadership " was evident in this group.


The former 76ers pro basketball coach, Larry Brown often speaks of, Playing the game right. " We hear him use that phrase over and over again. It`s his term for teamwork, hustle, unselfishness and caring. He focuses on building the Right Attitude " in his team. He`s been unbending in that area. And it seems to have worked for him.


It`s up to each one of us to start getting and keeping the Right Attitude Leadership, " especially for the small business owner/entrepreneur who sometimes gets caught in the frustrations of growth and everyday existence.


Your actions, will as always, speak louder than your words.


Signs of having Right Attitude Leadership " include:


  • Planning your work and taking responsibility for getting it done on time
  • Not waiting until someone pushes you to do something
  • Not missing out on opportunities because you waited too long to get started
  • Not giving up after one try
  • Getting solutions from others when they give you problems
  • Developing solutions for your own problems
  • Thinking creatively
  • Asking for information before someone offers it
  • Respecting others` opinions
  • Empowering others
  • Delegating and motivating effectively


My favorite quote on the subject of leadership defines the art of passing on Right Attitude " to all those with whom you interact. It comes from Dwight D. Eisenhower, a man who knew something about effective leadership, Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he (or she) wants to do it. "


Start now and perhaps before you know it someone will ask you how you grew such a wonderful team and successful business and you`ll be able to say, It`s all about having Right Attitude Leadership! "


Dan Goldberg is a keynote speaker and the President of Dan Goldberg Consulting, L.L.C. a training, coaching and business development firm located in the Philadelphia, PA area. He is the author of the book Lighten Up and Lead, " co-author (with Don Martin) of the book The Entrepreneur`s Guide to Successful Leadership, " and author of The Six Steps To Solid Sales Success " and The Seven Elements of Successful Management " programs and the audio tape Growing A Successful Business ". You can contact him at, visit his website at or reach him at (215) 233-5352