I love to see people enjoying their jobs.
Since most of us are going to have to engage in some form of daily drudgery for most of our lives, we might as well try our best to at least enjoy what we do. Which leads me to expound upon the need for all of us to maintain a PMA–positive mental attitude. We all have burdens: quotas, goals, angry customers, paperwork, the battle to balance work and family life. No wonder keeping our PMA is an ever-present challenge.
In thinking about PMA, I recall the words of a man from New York who called recently to ask me to give a speech. This particular speech, designed for sales and other managers, addresses the need to focus more on motivational aspects of leadership, including our mutual need to maintain a positive mental attitude. “You know,” the caller said, ” `soft skills’ are becoming more important.” Yes, I told him, “but they should be labeled the hard skills, because any fool can manage numbers. The so-called `soft skills’ area is the much tougher management task.” And it is, considering that `soft skills’ involve inspiring people, trying to change behavior to obtain a desired result; in other words, working with emotion, personality and other very human traits. The skills needed to carry out such tasks are not easily learned–they are rarely taught in school, anyway–and tough, if not impossible, to perfect.
“One method to improve our time at work is to overcome the “I’ve seen it all before” attitude that many of us develop as young adults. Rediscovering something can be just as interesting as discovering something new. Especially on the job.” If you are performing a task for the zillionth time, intentionally do it differently. At each step of the process, ask yourself, “Why am I doing this in this manner? Can I do it differently?” Look at tasks or projects from another angle. Also, quality time is not just for home anymore. We each have the power to improve the quality of our time at work–a mental alignment is all that is needed. As individuals and managers, we need to personally and in a leadership sense remain conscious of the power of a positive outlook. Although it is perhaps the hardest task we face, maintaining a positive outlook can make our career and life an easier and more enjoyable journey. As Hugh Prather said, “Too late for what?”