I saw an interesting quote from former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holz this week that got me thinking:
“It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it.”
I think that is very true from a few, important perspectives:
- Once upon a time, I worked with a product manager who always seemed overwhelmed. He hurried from meeting to meeting, walked a bit hunched over, didn’t make much eye contact, and just sounded “down” when you tried to talk with him. His product was doing “OK, but not great” and you could say the same about him. The way he acted did not give me or others in the company the confidence that he was the one to help us drive great success in the market. In short, he didn’t seem to be able to carry his load very well.
- In contrast I have worked with people who, even when everything is hitting the fan, come across as “in control” and exhibit a “can do” attitude. They are better able to bring people into their world and get them to help create a successful outcome.
- Remember – people want to be part of a winning team’s success. Does your team feel like a winning one?
- Are you a “glass half empty,” “glass half full,” or a “you could do with a smaller glass” kind of person? Your outlook and attitude will color your actions, so the better your attitude the better your results (in my experience).
- To go back to the product manager example, I have also had the pleasure of working with product managers who sought opportunity at every turn – even competitive losses – and managed to drive a successful business against the odds. How? A great attitude, hard work, and a compelling vision. If that’s doesn’t describe you, maybe you’re in the wrong role.
- Underlying all of this is whether you believe you can succeed or not, which is rooted in whether you believe in yourself. Do you? It’s OK to be afraid, but you need to be on your own team – no matter what.
- If you believe in yourself but don’t believe in what you’re doing, it’s time to switch to something you do believe in.
Remember: when you interact with people, you typically either add energy or drain energy during the interaction. Which describes you? What can you do to recognize when you’re draining the energy from the room? What can you do to up the level of positive energy you emit?