Challenge Your Thinking

Can't Change It

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude." - Maya Angelou

We are in the midst of some very interesting times that carry with them a bit of chaos and a bit of uncertainty. You only have to look to national news to find proof of our ever-changing country and world. Gas prices have hit an all time high and the economy has been rocked with recent turmoil.

As you talk with people about the state of the union or listen to any newsanchor, the comments do not reflect a very rosy picture. Our individual frustration is further compounded by the belief system that " ... there is nothing I can do about it." This is where I believe that Ms. Angelou hit the nail on the head. These universal issues are tough to change by one individual; however, if you can't change it, then change your attitude. Learn to embrace the changes and do so by changing your attitude toward them.

Highly successful people exhibit an impeccable attitude of positive behavior and they do not let anything stand in their way-circumstances they control or circumstances beyond their control. Attitude is a state of mind and if you are focusing your life on the negative, you will experience negative results. Focusing your attitude on the positive will naturally force you to take positive action, and positive action will lead to far better outcomes. Take some of the bigger issues we see in the news today. As a "power of one" you may not be able to change the price of gas, but you can trade in the gas guzzling SUV you own for a more affordable and fuel efficient hybrid. You may be affected by the economic conditions, but you can combat them and strengthen your financial position by staying within your family's budget and by not overspending or overextending through credit cards.

Your attitude plays a role in everything that you do from the your interaction with our global community, to your business, and to the people that surround you daily-your peers, clients, family, and community members. Do you want to be known as the highly successful person who exhibits an impeccable attitude of positive behavior or the neighbor, dad, wife, husband, mother, or business owner that exhibits an attitude of chaos and uncertainty? With whom would you want to interact, with whom would you want to do business? It is fairly obvious, most people would say they want to be the highly successful and recognized individual, but saying it and doing it are two entirely different things ... actions speak so much louder than words.

Here are ten questions that if answered honestly will denote whether your actions reflect an attitude of a highly successful individual or if your actions represent the doom and gloom of your local newsanchor, the neighborhood pessimist, or an unsuccessful business owner. Take a moment and address each statement with one of the following answers:

  • No, I do not do this.
  • Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't, or
  • Yes, I do this consistently.

And remember, honesty counts!

  1. I take full responsibility for how my day turns out.
  2. I am confident that I can succeed at whatever I do as long as I simply take the right actions.
  3. I spend time visualizing tremendously rewarding success instead of picturing failure.
  4. I maintain a positive expectation of every action I take.
  5. I look for the best in every situation and the opportunity in every problem.
  6. I focus more of my time on seeking solutions rather than staying absorbed in the problem.
  7. I see myself as someone who is capable, enthusiastic, and committed.
  8. I speak in a positive, powerful, and uplifting manner.
  9. I persist with passion until I succeed at whatever I do.
  10. I embrace change, and love to learn and grow from new ideas and experiences.

If you answered yes to every one of the ten statements, congratulations, you are a highly successful person that exhibits an impeccable attitude of positive behavior and success. However, if you had to answer just one question with sometimes or no then you have room to grow, work, and develop.

This will shock no one. Change is here to stay. The things that are changing around us today will be fixed, repaired, modified, and replaced by other changes in the future. The only thing that is guaranteed is change will continue to accelerate and come at us faster and faster. However, the key to successfully navigating change is determining the focus of your attitude!

The choice is yours so choose your attitude wisely!

Global Organization Consulting

As the Executive V.P. of Human Resources located in Paris, I had the functional leadership challenge of evolving an existing HR organization into an international team capable of meeting the professional challenges of a changing French global manufacturing business.

Based on the initial geographical challenges we faced, I engaged Norm Gauthier to provide organizational consulting support in the U.S. I knew he was someone I could work with and trust, especially in working remotely with me from Europe. His experience, allowed him to quickly assess what we had, the major challenges we faced, and helped identify step by step what needed to be done. He also helped define the needs in terms of skills and competencies required in building an effective international HR presence.

He used his business consulting experience and knowledge of HR practice to carefully focus on individual and collective development 'gaps' creating conditions that allowed team members to take risks, experience new roles and ...in the end take on more of a leadership position. During this change management process, he took on individual and team coaching assignments in support of several organizational initiatives. He also developed several international train-the-trainer development modules, linking each to the staged development and roll-out of critical management tools.

Results of the work… we now have a worldwide HR organization that uses the same processes and tools despite their location in the world, which is rare for a Global company. Our HR members are recognized by Business Unit management as professionals they involve early in the change process to provide advice and counsel. And, with the focus on developing leadership and accountability at the operational HR management level, the team now exercises a different level of problem solving and collaboration that requires less leadership time and involvement in decision making.

An outstanding work quality that is very effective…Norman respects the fine line between the 'decision maker' and the team - thus creating a challenging environment for the boss and a safe environment for the team to take on initiatives and risk - learning conditions that we needed.

J. Dekker,
Executive V.P., Human Resources Sperian Protection

Executive Coaching & Consulting - Boston, MA

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