Positive Path Recommended Reading

Put on your leaders hat and watch their attitude change
By Karen Schmidt

People are the biggest cost to any organisation and their performance has a direct impact on your bottom line. The most successful organisations are the ones that can get the people right and in turn get the culture right. It’s not enough to have the right products or services you need the right people with the right attitude!

Let’s face it, not all staff have attitudes that are productive. So how do you change their attitude? You start by changing yours. If you change your attitude to them, you will change their attitude to work!

Let’s take a look at some typical workplace attitudes of managers and show you how they have an affect on the productivity and profitability of your organisation.

What hat are you wearing?
There are 4 basic attitudes that managers can take. See if you can recognise yourself or others in these descriptions. I know I’ve had all these types of managers in my career.

Do as I say not as I do – the crown
I like to think of this as the Royal attitude. There is one set of rules for management and another set of rules for the staff. Royal decrees are made from up high and the subjects are expected to comply.

This type of manager uses their position to gain loyalty and force staff to comply or maybe it’s off with your head! The result is people start to act like helpless subjects, loosing the ability to make decisions.

Do as you are told – the hard hat
The manager is in charge and simply tells the labour what to do. They take on all the responsibility for decision making, hence the need for the hard hat for when things start to fall down around them.
They use fear to get the job done and on the surface it appears to work but consider this. In his book “Emotional Intelligence”, Daniel Goleman found that 7 out of 10 American workers are afraid to question their manager even when they know they are wrong and could cause the company to waste money. When people act out of fear they make more mistakes and spend time trying to hide them.

Do what you think is right – the mask
On the surface it seems like a great idea to give staff more responsibility but if overdone it’s not managing or leading, it’s showing you don’t care. This manager shows no emotion and never lets people know what is going on. Their favourite saying is “come and see me if you have any problems”. There is a major lack of communication as they hide behind the mask (or the closed door). Some managers justify their behaviour by saying their team are all professionals and know what they are doing. This approach doesn’t work because even trained professionals like some feedback on their performance.

Let’s do it together – the baseball cap
These managers have the attitude that it’s a team effort. They are the coach and their people are the players who get the real job done. The coach knows you can’t be successful without making the best use of your players. They see their role as making sure the team is free of distractions that might get in the way of winning the game and keeping their motivation to win at a high.

On the other hand, they know enough about the game that they can jump in and become one of the players where necessary. Their staff appreciate their willingness to pitch in and help when required.

I believe that the right management attitudes are vital to the success of any organisation. The first step in developing the right attitude is recognising your behaviour patterns and modifying them where necessary.

So tomorrow morning when you get ready to go to work, put on your leaders hat . . .and watch out for a change in the attitude of your staff!

About the Author: Karen Schmidt is an award winning professional speaker, workshop leader and author who is on a mission to create fresh workplace attitudes that help people and organisations grow!. Karen believes you can increase productivity and bottom line results if your people have the right attitude in 5 key areas of: work, change, customers, people and managing. To find out more visit

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