The Power of a Positive Attitude

Many motivational speakers and coaches use analogies to make a point of how your attitude determines your success in life, both professionally and personally. For me, a positive attitude is represented by “the Happy Bus”, a concept I developed while still managing properties on site years ago.

I had just taken over a large property and wanted to show how much I believed in the power of positive attitudes. So, I called the staff in to have a team meeting. I had taken a yellow toy school bus from my children’s toy box to use as a prop in what I thought would be my best Vince Lombardi speech.

As I spoke about how we are a team and tried to motivate the staff to another level of performance, I was met with vacant, silent stares along with clock watching and an overall, “Are we done yet? I’ve got work to do,” body language. I was hurt that they didn’t believe as I did. So I went home to regroup my thoughts.

I thought I would rename the little bus, “The Happy Bus”. “Genius, Jackie!” I thought. So the next day I called everyone in again and proudly showed the team our NEW bus…The Happy Bus! I explained how I was given this position to help bring the team to another level of operational performance that the owners sent me to achieve.

So, I explained, they could all just slap a smile on their faces or step in the closet and I would slap one on for them, start caring about their jobs, quit talking bad about each other and start performing at the level I knew they could. They understood that they could get on the Happy Bus or they could find another bus. This one concept turned everything around – especially the employees’ attitudes – at this property.

As Lou Holtz, the famous football coach, said, “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”