Attitudes and its Impact on work

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The past couple of months has been tumultuous!

Starting from sharing of best practices in our business planning that leads to highly focused, segmented and revenue oriented marketing activities, detailing out cooperative collaborations and being the point man for a specific industry project;  its’ been a crazy yet, in its own way, a very satisfying period at the day job. As I sit back and take stock, specifically to get the project process in place, issues revolving primarily around “attitudes” come to mind. I felt, that it would be a good blog post.

So, readers, here’s my personal take on “attitudes and its impact on work”.

In my day job I wear three hats:

  1. Business Planner
  2. Marketing Head
  3. Point Man

Those of you involved in organisational planning, HR, and performance measurement, would immediately say—“What the…!” Yes, its 3 specific functions, that for the past one year I’ve delivered on. And, I’ve loved every minute of it!  The thrill is in the fun of doing it and doing all three well, within the deadlines.  Perhaps i love the stress! Anyways, lest I detract, let me come back to the topic.

The advantage of doing all three roles was simply this — it allows me full engagement with my C Level in the development of the organisation’s long term business plans. This, in turn, allows me to develop a marketing strategy that has measureable results. And at the end of the day, that’s my personal role objective in order to grow futher into the organisation.

Whilst that is the positive there’s a negative (or is that too strong a word?) side to it too. The negative is having to attend an awful lot of meetings (some of which simply have no focus) and spend an equal amount of time in undertaking discussions with key executives across staff and line functions. In sum about 6 to 7 hours of a work day goes in just interacting with people and I have to put in quite a bit of personal (family) time, as the “think time” required in order to deliver effectively.

By now you may be wondering where I am going with this. Bear with me, dear reader, as this background is important for you to understand the how attitudes impact on work deliverables.

Given the amount of time I spend in meetings & discussions to get project activities rolled out, I’m exposed to a variety of people with a range of skills and expertise (and some are major prima donna’s in their subject matter expertise). The one common thing that I have learnt is this— “an individual’s attitude towards life, reflects and affects how he/she approaches a task”.

In my day job, the organisation is in the midst of implementing and running a new business model. This is change and big change for majority of the organisation’s staff. And change is not easy for all to handle. For some, they take to change like duck takes to water. For others it’s a continuous battle to try and pull the line back to status quo. A continuous see-saw battle of intellect, process management and aligning of personal goals with the business goals.

For my organisation what this change process has achieved is, it has brought to fore, each individuals’ attitudes towards work.  Some are reacting and not acting through thinking; whilst others are simply running on the same spot and feel they are doing a lot.

And the need for speed and quick thinking is testing executives acutely in terms of their management skills. Instead of planning project resources and requirements calmly and logically the push back comes in varied forms—on one extreme it’s couched within massive words of subject matter expertise or on the other end in utter silence to communication going around. In the midst there’s nary a solution to project requirements. And this is where attitude comes to bear!

Challenges that provide a playing field to demonstrate one’s expertise, aid the team and in turn the community (business stakeholders and ultimately the community within which the project would have an impact) should be seen as opportunities to improve one’s self, perform and aid in delivering business goals. They should not be seen as additional work.

So as business managers and team leaders, should we take cognizance of our team’s attitudes? YES! Without understanding and aiding the alignment between the individuals’ personal goals with that of the organisation, obtaining effectiveness from a team member (no matter how qualified and experienced that member is) is next to impossible. What would happen is at best a mediocre output which would impact on the professionalism and image of the organisation, not to say the bottom line. In my next post, we’ll cover the probable solutions that affect attitude development that enable an organisation to effectively obtain positive impact on its daily work.