Never Manage Attitudes

A good leader should never, NEVER try to manage people’s attitudes.  Attitudes are a trailing indicator.

If you’re unhappy with any person’s or group’s attitude, the way to fix that is to increase performance — because when people perform well at a task they care about, they start to feel better about their work and everything else around them.  (See the movie 12-O’Clock High.)

Focus on these four pre-conditions to see if they are weak or missing for each person:

  1. Clear and worthy goals that are detailed enough to measure
  2. Frequent (daily) and timely (immediate) feedback by the system on progress against the goal (# calls vs. target; # appointments vs. target, # twitter followers vs. target, etc.)
  3. Match of skill to challenge — listen for sounds of frustration or high anxiety
  4. Autonomy within clear boundaries — ask people to tell you their version of what they have here

Fix these (and I promise you some of these are broken) and attitudes will align soon after performance begins to improve, which it will within a week or two.

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