The saying “attitude is everything” applies to an organization, or a unit within an organization, every bit as much as it applies to the individual. When it comes to culture in general, and to a culture of ownership in particular, people’s attitudes about their work and about each other are where the rubber hits the road.
Remember, culture does not change unless and until people change, and that often begins with a personal attitude adjustment. Paul Utemark is CEO of Fillmore County Health System in Geneva, Nebraska. As a result of a Values and Culture Initiative in his hospital he wrote: “I got a whole new team and didn’t have to change the people because they changed themselves.”
Unfortunately, in many organizations there is much work to be done on this front. One of the questions on the Values Coach Culture Assessment Survey says: “Our people reflect positive attitudes, treat others with respect, and refrain from complaining, gossiping, or pointing fingers.” I’ve just collated results from our 30 most recent surveys, encompassing more than 10,000 individual responses. More people disagree than agree with that statement for their organization, and only 6% strongly agree.
Toxic emotional negativity is the emotional and spiritual equivalent of cigarette smoke. It is malignant and it is contagious – and just as harmful to the soul as cigarette smoke is to the body. In fact, research is increasingly showing that one’s choice of attitude can have a profound positive or negative impact on physical health as well as one’s ability to be resilient in the face of adversity and to set and achieve big goals.
The Pickle Pledge can change your life by helping you change your life by changing your attitude, and declaring your organization a Pickle-Free Zone by taking The Pickle Challenge for Charity can help you change your organization’s culture one attitude at a time. You can download The Pickle Pledge and learn more about The Pickle Challenge at this link.
Late last year I spent nearly two weeks in a hospital bed. Though I’ve spent much of my career working in and with hospitals, this was my first horizontal hospital experience. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that repeating The Pickle Pledge, and the seven promises of The Self Empowerment Pledge, was just as important to my recovery – and to making important lifestyle changes after being discharged – as was the clinical care I received (which was excellent).
Several years ago I wrote a more extensive article about constructively dealing with negative attitudes for a publication of the American Hospital Association – you can download the manuscript for that article here:
Next: Step 5 covers the interaction of personal and organizational values and shares ideas for promoting values-based life and leadership skills. You can see the introductory overview to this series at this link.