Have you ever met someone who exudes a negative attitude?
Have you ever met someone who exudes a positive attitude?
Who would you rather spend time with? Silly question isn’t it? Unless we spend our days getting up on the wrong side of the bed, none of us enjoy spending time with a person whose life centers around negativity and cynicism. If you do, well….
We hear a lot about attitude and its importance. I certainly won’t deny that. I can’t even count on all my fingers and toes how many times I have heard in one form or another “Attitude is everything.” There is no doubt that attitude is important, but it isn’t everything. A person can have the greatest attitude in the world but that won’t make him a good/best leader around. It won’t be the cure to a debilitating disease. I have known pastors who have the best attitude of anyone I know but their church still flounders.
A leader’s attitude is like oxygen to the body. Case in point: I am allergic to smoke. Cigarette/cigar smoke about “kills” me. Campfire smoke I tolerate a little better, but I can’t wait to get a shower and get the smell out of my hair and nostrils. (No I don’t shampoo them). For me to breathe in “toxic” air soon takes its toll on my ability to breathe. The same is true of attitude. My attitude shapes how I see people and life in general. A leader must have a positive attitude…
BUT THAT IS NOT ALL IT TAKES!
Attitude goes a long way, but it also helps when leaders actually like people. I once knew a leader who disliked people, and except for a few cases, disliked being around people. He was also authoritarian. While he made a good leader when it came to decision-making and policy, he was lousy when it came to sensitivity and listening. It wasn’t that he couldn’t do it; he didn’t want to. He would just as soon walk around you than stop and listen. For a church leader that is disastrous. To be autocratic and authoritarian but not like people is like…well…I can’t find the words. You see, people know when they are liked or not. They know when they are an appendage or really matter.
This whole idea doesn’t just apply to leaders. It goes for all of us. People want to know they matter to you, to me. They don’t want to be seen as a statistic, or a notch on the belt. “Yep, that is #5 for this year.” Some churches caught in the numbers game do that-perhaps inadvertently-but they do it. We can also begin to see people at “clients” or “targets,” unless we are careful. They want to know “Do I matter to you?” Of that I am absolutely positive.
How do you view people? How do you view yourself? What sort of attitude do you display?