I worked with an executive a while back who had a very specific objective:

“I want to improve my attitude!” was the first thing he told me.

People tend to talk a lot about attitude since we all question it and nearly always search for it. On this occasion, I asked him for his definition of attitude.

Attitude: what exactly is it?

From that day on, I asked myself the same question. Several weeks and sessions passed by until one day, I received an email from him.

“I have the answer!”... he told me:

Attitude is an Action Verb!

I’ve thought a lot about his response and now fully understand what he meant. I remember areas for improvement that he mentioned during our sessions, namely trust, delegation and communication with his team. In each case, I asked him to change the noun for a verb:

Trust : Trusting

Delegation : Delegating

Communication : Listening

He had decided to take action. Going from one column to the next isn’t an easy task. You need to make a special effort to cross the path that moves you from devising the plan to taking action. He was able to link his actions with personal meaning, always guided by a clear sense of the “why” behind each new step. For him, this was key!

If you also have your own list of areas for improvement, go in search of the verb that only you can define and give meaning to. When you’ve found it, when you’ve made this small-giant step forward, you’ll ultimately realize you’ve made a difference.

That’s the attitude!