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

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

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