Celebrate the wins with positive attitude

I learned from personal experiences a positive attitude is much more effective than a negative attitude when it comes to success. As a young manager in Ohio I inherited a facility that was one of the top revenue producers in the country. Our employees were proud of this and expected to succeed year over year. Unfortunately, our safety record was horrible. The employees assumed this was a price of success. We had to convince everyone we could operate accident free and still be a top revenue producer. One of the things we did was to celebrate the little wins, like working a month accident free. Every win built their belief. We began to win safety awards for driving over 1 Million Miles Accident Free and working injury free. Ultimately, we became known for our safety in addition to being a top revenue producer. Celebrating little wins built our people’s belief and a positive attitude that created success.

When I was going through my cancer treatments over 30 years ago I saw the same group of people every week. We got to know each other as we faced the challenge of this disease. I celebrated little wins like being able to play with my kids and still work being able to during the treatments. The patients fit into two groups. One group remained positive and upbeat. We got to know and encourage each other. We laughed and smiled. This group did very well. Many like me finished their treatments and were ultimately cured. The other group had a negative attitude. They were fatalists and tended to avoid others. Sadly, I watched these people deteriorate. Many died before my treatments finished.

Celebrating the little wins helps to create a positive attitude. A celebration should be a celebration. No “buts…” Have you ever had that boss or coach who told you, “Great job but…” You can fill in the blank. We can always improve. The improvement message should be saved for another time. Let the success be enjoyed. It will build belief.

Last week I was at the West Virginia Chamber’s Business Summit. It was a celebration of success. West Virginia has historically been on the bottom of most positive lists for years. It was uplifting to see West Virginia on top for a change. Here are some of the successes we heard about at the Summit;

West Virginia is 1st in Personal Income Growth

West Virginia is 1st in GDP Growth

West Virginia has the Highest Total Employment since 2008

West Virginia has added 25,000 Jobs since 2015

West Virginia’s personal income tax collections are up 16% in three years

West Virginia is the 6th best state in the nation for women’s equality

West Virginia’s consumer sales tax collections are up 11% in three years

West Virginia’s severance tax collections are up 67% in three years

West Virginia’s total state revenue growth is up 16% in three years

Natural gas production in West Virginia is up 37% in three years

These successes deserve to be celebrated not just by West Virginians. No “buts…” West Virginia’s strength in creating high wage permanent jobs is bringing people to the REGION. Some people are coming home. We are much stronger together as a Region. The success of any state helps everyone. The Shell plant in Pittsburgh is a big win for Pennsylvania. It is also a win for West Virginia and Ohio. It will employ people from all three states. There companies and individuals from all three states working on site right now during construction. We are better together.

The successes of West Virginia should inspire people throughout the Shale Crescent USA and build a can-do attitude through-out the entire Region. They also build belief for West Virginians in their future. Most people at the Business Summit celebrated. A few negative folks said, “Yes but…” We all know there is more work to be done. We now know we can win. If we focus on the positive we can build a success mindset for continued growth. Ohio has also seen growth of its natural gas production and its own successes. The Shale Crescent USA Region is growing. We are seeing growing interest in companies coming here.

The West Virginia Business Summit was a great place to meet decision makers in industry and in government. We talked to plant managers who weren’t aware of what the natural gas and natural gas liquids under their plants could mean to them. These are companies already in the Shale Crescent USA Region who can expand and provide more high wage jobs. This can happen much quicker than a company siting and building a brand-new plant. We met with the decision makers of two of our current prospects at the Summit. Outside of the Summit we met the CEO and VP of a foreign company interested in our Region we have been working with.

As leaders, we should all celebrate our peoples’ and our organizations’ successes. The little wins become BIG wins. Our children and grandchildren need this feedback to build their belief. The success of people, organizations and athletic teams begins with the belief and the expectation of success. When there are challenges we can go back to our past successes to help us. The mind-set is, “We have been challenged before and we succeeded. We can do it now.” Our past successes can help drive our future success.

Aim high. Believe. Do the work. Persevere. All things are possible.

Thoughts to ponder.


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


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