When you think of the word 'attitude', you might think of different things. If you've ever had a teenaged child, you probably think of an eye roll and a long, self-suffering sigh. If you've had a cat you might think of that aloof, love-me-when-I-wish-and-only-then manner. But what does attitude suggest at work, or in your personal life?
Going from rolled-up pantyhose to a billion dollars
The name Sara Blakely may not mean anything to you, but the name Spanx probably does. Sara Blakely is the inventor of the slimming bodywear, and she hustled her way into billionaire status.
She grew up with a father who openly discussed failures. Blakely was always encouraged to try new things and not be afraid of failing. Now, she always discusses her failures with her employees to help them to be brave and not get bogged down by the idea of failure.
Blakely did not do well as a stand-up comedian. She did not do well on the LSAT, the test needed to attend law school. She spent years trying to sell fax machines door-to-door. But through it all, her attitude was positive and she kept trying. She realised while working as a salesperson that she had a viable product. The slimming, seamless undergarments called Spanx were born.
Being afraid to fail means being afraid to try
Sara Blakely never gave up. She continued to develop her product, and she worked tirelessly to find a manufacturer for it. She analysed her failures and learned from them.
“My dad encouraged us to fail. Growing up, he would ask us what we failed at that week. If we didn't have something, he would be disappointed. It changed my mindset at an early age that failure is not the outcome, failure is not trying. Don't be afraid to fail.”
How Attitude relates to Innovation
Attitude is one of the 4 pillars under the competency of Innovation in the . An attitude that embraces positivity and change, sees opportunities everywhere rather than threats. This is critical if you want to keep innovation as a primary driver for growth within your team or organisation.
5 Tips for Attitude
- Stop trying to be perfect - read related article
- Love who you are
- Do more of what you enjoy
- Don’t let others tear you down
- Smile - read related article
Attitude is more than teenaged angst. Attitude gives us the drive to press on and to never quit. It's important to have a positive attitude both personally and professionally. Be brave and take a chance, even if that chance leads to failure.
Learn from your mistakes and keep trying. Innovation will never occur if you are too afraid to reach for it.