Once upon a time a man pulled into a gas station in a small town in the country. He asked the attendant there, “What are the people like in the next town ahead?”
The gas station attendant asked, “What were the people like in the town you just came from?” The man said, “Absolutely awful people. They were rude, inconsiderate, cold and unfriendly. They wouldn’t even acknowledge or help me.”
“Well…” said the attendant, “I’m afraid and sorry to tell you that that’s exactly what you will find in the next town too. They are the same kind of people.”
A little later, another driver pulled up to the gas station heading the same direction as the first man. He also asked what the people were like in the next town. And the attendant asked the same question, what were the people like in the town you just came from?”
“Ah, they were wonderful people,” the second man said. “They were friendly, very helpful, kind and warm. They would go out of their way to help a stranger.”
“Well,” said the attendant, “I’m happy to inform you that you will find those same types of people in the next town too!”
Life is what you make it. If you want misery, you can find it. If you want happiness, you can find that too. If you want to whine, you can find people to whine with. If you want to find the positive in people and situations, you can find people who also find the positive in people and situations.
Leaders set the tone for organizations and teams. They can set a tone of goodness, positiveness and inspiration, or they can set a tone of ugliness, negativity and drudgery. It’s a choice the leader makes.
I ask you, which leader would you rather have? “Leaders” who make poor choices in regards to attitude are usually barkers and demanders; not really leaders. People follow such leaders because they have to, not because they want to.
So take a hard look at your attitude. Are the things you say as a leader and the tone you use inspiring or taxing? Do you lift, or unload and burden? These are fair questions for all of us to ask from time to time.
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