5 Essential Attitudes for Everyday Leaders

You cannot tailor-make the situations in life but you can tailor-make the attitudes to fit those situations. – Zig Ziglar

A story is told of how both the hummingbird and the vulture fly over our nation’s deserts.  What they look for is very different. Vultures only look for and go after dead animals; focusing on what was; the past.  On the flip side, hummingbirds look for the colorful blossoms of desert plants. The hummingbird fills themselves with freshness and seek new life.

It has been our observation over the years that in many ways we are the products of our attitudes. To be sure, none of us are immune from external circumstances that challenge us at times to keep it positive.

If you were to inventory the attitudes of successful people what attitudes do you think would be on the list? It would be a lengthy one, right? Here is our list of some of the top attitudes that we believe if embraced  each day will give you the advantage you need to be successful.

The attitude of courage  

Study the life of most any leader regardless of background and you will surely find this common thread of courage. If you wait until conditions are just right to act and go for your dreams or goals you will be waiting a long time. Courage is essential to success. You are stronger than the fear you might have inside of you.  If others can do it, you can do it. So step out of your comfort zone and be the courageous leader that you want to be. Break through your fears because success is on the other side.

The attitude of optimism  

Optimism is the fuel of your success. Setbacks and failures will be reminders on your road to success that any great thing worth achieving will be a challenge. The temptation will be to throw in the towel, but the attitude that sets you apart is optimism. What you put your mind to is where you will put action to. Being positive and optimistic will attract more of that into your leadership and in life in general.

The attitude of resilience

Not every day is going to be a perfect day. But true leaders are the ones that shine when the going gets tough. They take responsibility when things go wrong and bounce back to being an even better leader from what they’ve learned. A resilient attitude builds character and is a reminder that your life in leadership is marathon; not a 50-yard dash. Successful leaders are resilient and thus not easily thrown off their game.

The attitude of curiosity

A true leader is never done learning and growing. They are thirsty for new knowledge and are eager to find ways to do things better and smarter. They not only invest in themselves but tap into the greatness of their team. The collective power of curiosity is a game-changer and when its energy is harnessed in meaningful ways it can propel any organization to the next level. Never cease to have a child-like curiosity so you can see the world around you with fresh eyes.

The attitude of gratitude

Great leaders always remember where they came from. It is an inherent characteristic that keeps them grounded and gives them moral clarity. They understand that each day is a gift. In addition, they know they are only as good as their team and they show appreciation every day. They are grateful for the opportunity to serve their people and are not ashamed to show it.

Which of the attitudes described above do you believe are most important in leaders?  What resonates most with you and do you have any additional attitudes to add to our list?  We’d love to hear from you!

© 2015 Doug Dickerson and Cynthia Bazin

Doug Dickerson is an internationally recognized leadership speaker and columnist. He is a leadership consultant based out of Charleston, South Carolina. To learn more visit Dougdickerson.wordpress.com

Doug Dickerson and I wrote this blog together.  It was an honor to collaborate with him on this.

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2016-11-11T11:55:56-07:00By |Inspirational Articles|20 Comments


  1. Liz Stincelli May 28, 2015 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    I love these attitudes for everyday leaders, Cynthia and Doug. The key word here is “Everyday” leaders. That includes each and every one of us. Whether or not we hold a formal position of authority, we are all leaders in our homes, our communities, our circle of friends, and anywhere else we have the ability to influence others. Without COURAGE we would stagnate. OPTIMISM keeps us going when times get tough. RESILIENCE give us the ability to pick ourselves back up when we fall. CURIOSITY keeps our passion alive and burning. And, GRATITUDE reminds us how much we have to be thankful for and how far we have come.

    Thank you both for a fantastic post.

    • SmartChic May 28, 2015 at 5:13 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much Liz for your feedback on the blog Doug and I collaborated on. Excellent wisdom you provide….. Thank you for being such a great example of awesome leadership!

  2. Tony Adams May 28, 2015 at 6:18 pm - Reply

    What a terrific list. The leaders that I admire the most have all these attitudes in buckets! Having said that, I’d add two more – creativity and humility.

    Creativity – the attitude that says “I can solve this problem, by thinking about it in ways that others don’t. I can see a different way to reach the goal. I am prepared to challenge myself and others, to test ideas and find a better way.”
    Humility – the attitude that says “I am not an island. I am who I am because I’m surrounded by good people and collectively, we are greater than the sum of our parts.”

    Well done Cynthia and Doug!

    • SmartChic May 28, 2015 at 6:24 pm - Reply

      Thank you SO much Tony for your comments…. You definitely rock my friend. And I love the additions you gave. PERFECT for this post. Thanks again Tony!

  3. Karen May 28, 2015 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    Beautiful Cyn! Thank you!!

    • SmartChic May 28, 2015 at 7:50 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much Karen for the shout out. You rock my friend!

  4. Deb Scott May 29, 2015 at 3:14 am - Reply

    Another winning article! Thank you!

    • SmartChic May 29, 2015 at 6:29 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much Deb for your comment. I appreciate YOU!

  5. Giovanni Gaudelli May 29, 2015 at 5:00 am - Reply

    Love this, Doug and Cynthia! I agree, these five attitudes are precious for everyday leaders. We are all leaders in our own way, not only in our profession but in all our daily activities. Attitude of optimism is the one that resonates the most with me. I have to admit, I’m an incurable optimist! Thanks for the great post!

    • SmartChic May 29, 2015 at 6:29 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much Giovanni for your comments. You are an amazing optimist! You inspire so many my friend. I appreciate YOU!

  6. Aubrey welch May 29, 2015 at 5:36 am - Reply

    These are definitely 5 top essential attitudes for Everyday leaders to consider.
    For me the one of resilience is perhaps the most topical and highly important as we all get knock backs from time to time but must realise that this is only a temporary problem which can be overcome. Have strong optimism be realistic and the courage to stay as you are and in moving towards and reaching either daily or longer term goals.
    Thank you for bringing this vital blog to our attention.

    • SmartChic May 29, 2015 at 6:27 pm - Reply

      Excellent comments Aubrey. I really appreciate you sharing your wisdom. Resilience is definitely important as a leader. We all get knocked down from time to time but the key is to get back up! Thanks again Aubrey!

  7. Dale Fagre May 29, 2015 at 6:31 am - Reply

    You two have created a winning list! I would add an Attitude of Excellence to the list. If a Leader is going to truly lead he or she must embrace an attitude of Excellence. For true leaders want to instill in themselves as well as in others a trail of excellence. And that takes a strong dose of Courage, Optimism, Resilience, Curiosity and Gratitude! Have a great day!

    • SmartChic May 29, 2015 at 6:25 pm - Reply

      Love your positive attitude Dale and I appreciate your wisdom. I totally believe an attitude of excellence is perfect to add to our list. And you my friend have an attitude of excellence every single day!

  8. Bonnie Butler May 29, 2015 at 10:16 am - Reply

    This is a great list Cynthia and Doug! All of the attitudes are so important for success. I believe also that happiness has to be in there somewhere because without it then the other attitudes would be harder to embrace on a daily basis.

    • SmartChic May 29, 2015 at 6:22 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much Bonnie for your comments. I am so glad you enjoyed our post. Thank you for adding about happiness. It is so true that happiness must come first.

  9. Debbie Savviano May 29, 2015 at 10:42 am - Reply

    Great Tips Cynthia and Doug!
    All5 are Powerful yet #4-5 my Favorites!

    • SmartChic May 29, 2015 at 6:20 pm - Reply

      Thank you Debbie for the shout out about our post. We appreciate it!

  10. Jane May 29, 2015 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    I love your perspectives on leadership and you are so right Cynthia, in all you’ve written. Attitude is the one thing we can control and it’s also the most substantial game changer. When I think of attitude in the 5 perspectives you mention here, I favor the attitude of optimism. It just seems to me that if we seek something good in every day, we will never allow defeat and discouragement to be our ruler.

    • SmartChic May 29, 2015 at 6:19 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much Jane for your comments. I agree with what you say. Thanks for being such a positive inspiration to so many!

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