Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Black Belt Attitude

I started martial arts recently, and our instructor was describing to us the how important attitude is during class and outside of class. The questions were posed do you have a "Black Belt Attitude"? Do you have a "Can Do" attitude? Black belts have a positive attitude and they can get it done no matter what it takes. So, I can look at class with the thought that I am just a white belt, there is no way I can do these things yet that he is asking, or I can be there trying every move, being enthusiastic that I am going to get it and setting my goal for the black belt.
The attitude doesn't stop with class. This is something that can easily be carried over to other parts of life, especially work.
A positive attitude at work goes along way for how things get accomplished. Taking ownership for the task at hand and to do it to the best of your abilities, setting goals to develop new skills and keep other skills and knowledge current, willing to take on new responsibilities or even ones that others don't want, these are all part of that "Black Belt" attitude.
There are tasks I don't want to do and people I may not want to deal with that pull me away from my goal of developing this attitude. There are projects being cut, people being given less incentive to do their current tasks, but this should push us even more to do what we can with what we have. Those of us who stay positive and work now maybe a little harder and smarter will be reaching that goal even sooner.
Just like I can't go from being a white belt to a black belt tomorrow this attitude also can't happen over night. There is training that is needed with in both technical and mental skills. Developing the attitude of "I can do this" and learning to maintain that good attitude is a key part to the mental area. Along with this training, focusing on a goal is helpful. My goal is to earn a black belt, learn something new and conquer a challenge. I am also not alone, so when my bad attitude surfaces there are people who can assist. It is good to have accountability for meeting goals and staying on track. Having people I can learn from and encourage is important and good attitudes are contagious. For martial arts, I have a class to go to with my girls, but for work I have IOUG, user group network. I think that this is a main reason that I have been active in the user group community and enjoy sharing and learning from others. So, I encourage you to get involved in a community to help sharpen your skills and have the accountability to do an attitude check.
Just image what would happen if we all came to work with a "Black Belt Attitude". The encouragement, positive outlook and the willingness to get things done could make projects happen that you never thought possible.

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