Having a winning attitude key to success

I still play adult soccer in the over-35 league. Our team has struggled this year. We were playing the only winless team in the league and one of our guys said, “We’re missing some key players today. (We still had a full team of 11 players plus a couple subs.) We can’t win.” He set the tone and was right. We lost. We let that negative comment set the tone for our team. Henry Ford said, “If you think you can or think you can’t, you are right.” Our attitude and beliefs are a key factor in determining our ultimate success or failure.

The next week our team had some no shows and had to play short two players 9 versus 11. It was hot. This opponent beat us 3-2 earlier in the season when we were 11 versus 11. I knew what Mr. Negative was going to say and I decided beat him to it. I said, “Guys, we can do this. Let’s score a quick goal.” My buddy believed me. Two minutes in he scored. We had confidence. A few minutes later we scored again. The heat didn’t matter. The fact that we were playing down two players didn’t matter. We had confidence and energy. Our opponent began to doubt. We scored again and went on to win 8-2.

We had no business losing to the winless team. Playing down two players in the heat maybe we shouldn’t have won this game but we did. The difference was that we started with a positive attitude. Our attitude gave us a chance. Everyone stepped up and played a little harder. Our early success fueled our belief that we could win. Our positive attitude made the difference.

In athletics, academics or business everything starts with attitude. It determines our actions. Why study if we believe we will fail? Why train or work hard if we think we’re going to lose? In business, employees and organizations that expect the worst usually get it. I have also seen organizations that have gone from perennial loser to winner. The first thing that had to change was their attitude and beliefs. They had to believe that success was possible.

One person can make a difference. Almost 20 years ago I asked my four high school seniors what their dream was. I was shocked when BJ, our captain said, “Coach we want to play for the State Championship.” He was serious. Up to that point in soccer our high school had never won even a section championship. BJ convinced me that it was possible. Together we convinced the head coach and the rest of the team. The team believed and practiced accordingly. Against all odds we played Morgantown High in Wheeling for the Boys State Soccer Championship that year. Everything changed after that season. Our players know that all things are possible. All they need to do is look at the championship soccer banners hanging in the gymnasium. It all started with one young man who had a dream.

We are at the same place now in the MOV. Our attitude has to be one of belief and positivity. We have been successful and prosperous before. We are in the process of doing it again. There will be ups and downs. The road back is never easy or short. Just like any championship team we need to keep a positive attitude and do the work. We are seeing local expansions and increasing local jobs. We have momentum. This is still a marathon. We need to keep our attitude positive. We know that we can win. This is essential especially for local leaders.

In business or athletics people want to be part of a winning team. Success creates confidence and momentum just like our adult soccer time had. The team reflects the attitude of the leader. Anyone can become a leader if they choose. Their title doesn’t matter. Leadership is all about influencing people. A smile, encouraging words and a positive attitude are contagious. Choose to lead in this area. Set the example and people will follow if they trust and respect you.

If you were looking for a place to expand your business would you choose a place where people are grim, negative and lack confidence? Or, would you pick a place where people are happy, friendly, positive and confident. Our prospects want a winning team. They are no different than we are. They would rather be around positive happy people with great attitudes. We need to be that kind of people. We can all be friendly, happy and positive. That is a choice. More about that next week.

Smile. You will feel better. Thoughts to ponder.

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Greg Kozera is the Director of Marketing for Shale Crescent USA www.shalecrescentusa.com. He has over 40 years of experience in the energy industry. Greg is a leadership expert with a Masters in Environmental Engineering and the author of four books and numerous published articles.

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