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Catch The Right Attitude- Your Team’s Depending On You

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference, and it’s also something more caught than taught. In this blog, I want to share the importance of positive mental attitude on leadership of ourselves, our family and all those we lead in any capacity. To lead our own life, and our family, effectively we have to have the right attitude. If we lead any other certain team we have to not only do that, but ensure that we build a team of positive, motivated members. As I alluded to in the first sentence of this paragraph, attitudes are caught, so we have to be careful of our own and the ones we allow in our team as the leader.

Of course the first step to any effective leadership is self leadership; we must lead ourself in order to earn the right to lead others. There are many important pieces to doing this, and leaders must possess discipline, work ethic, integrity, communication and leadership skills and many other important attributes to lead well. For the purposes of this blog, we are talking about attitude though, and I would argue that this is both the most important and the simplest to develop. Like so many things you’ll notice I said simple not easy, because developing an attitude that is mostly and usually positive takes hard work. Like all habits, it gets earlier the more you exercise it. But I say, “easy” because the act of having a personal positive mental attitude is basically a choice. We must choose to have an attitude of gratitude for what we have, an attitude of hope and possibility about what we don’t as well as a “can-do” attitude that we will take personal ownership to do everything within our power to bridge the gap between where we are and where we want to be every day.

We teach many leadership lessons that help create and support positive mental attitude in our dojo (martial arts school). I believe that the teaching of these lessons is what makes our dojo more than just a place for fitness and self defense, but also one that creates leaders with positive attitudes to affect their own lives positively and do the same for their community by taking this attitude “out of the dojo and into the world”. Here are a few of my favorite:

  • Everything happens for a reason and it serves me well
  • Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to what happens to me
  • Circle of concern and circle of control
  • If it’s to be it’s up to me
  • Attitude of gratitude
  • Empathy, communication and team building skills


Of the last, team building, let me share something with fellow team leaders that is also simple but not easy. It’s the job of the leader to not only set the tone of the team (leading by example with a positive and proactive attitude) but also to create a team that exudes positivity. Here are the 3 key ways we have to do this:

  • Lead by example: Again, example is not only the most important thing, but the only thing. If the leader does not lead with a positive attitude, the rest of this list is irrelevant.
  • Teach: As I have already mentioned, we train the principles of personal ownership and positive attitude regularly. It’s to the point that my team, who all grew up in the dojo, can share the lessons as well as I ever did, which leads me to the next one.
  • Empower: Leaders want to lead, so the leader must not only lead but give up and coming leaders every opportunity to do so. This develops confidence, ownership, leadership skills, and a sense of purpose and contribution, all which also create positive attitude.
  • Change Your People or Change Your People: This is the not easy part and I have made mistakes in this area before. When a team member begins to display a negative attitude, the first step is of course to try and figure why and help them. When a normally positive person is just going through something hard and needs help, it’s the duty and responsibility of the leader to help that person through it. There are many, many things we can do to help our people get through tough times.

On the other hand, some people are just negative though. These too we need to try and help. As I have already demonstrated, I believe that there are lots of ways to help a person become more positive. Often, in a positive enough team, the very energy, enthusiasm and motivation of the team can lift a less positive team member up. After all, attitudes are more caught than taught. This works both ways too. If we allow a negative attitude in our team too long, it can permeate and affect even the most positive members or, worst, make them leave. So it is also the difficult task of a leader to remove the negative attitude from the team if the owner of the attitude refuses to change it.

I wrote long this morning, so I hope you stayed with me and I hope this was helpful.

I’d like to close by saying how absolutely proud of and grateful I am for the positive, motivated and downright awesome Head Instructors of KMMA!

Sensei Kyle, Sensei Sarah and Shihan Harley are amazing leaders with awesome attitudes and each a testament to the power of our program, as well as the leaders empowering hundreds of lives at our dojo today! If you see them, thank them. If you haven’t personally experienced what I am talking about yet, for yourself or in the life of your child, schedule your free intro class by clicking here.