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Attitude is Everything

By: Cleveland Poole  


This month, I want to be a little less “news” and a little more “opinion.”  Typically, this column highlights progress in economic development in the Pioneer Electric Cooperative, Inc. service area and in the State of Alabama, and that often includes focus on workforce development, as a skilled labor force is key in attracting and maintaining industry in our state and the counties where Pioneer serves.  As this edition of Alabama Living begins a new year, I want to comment on one of the key ingredients in being successful at work, which is also a key ingredient in a successful life:  Attitude.


Traditionally, businesses hire for skill and fire for behavior.  In other words, folks get hired because they have the skillset needed for a particular job and then, if they lose their job, it’s not because they cannot perform.  Rather, if they lose their job, it’s because they have some sort of problem at work – late too many times, out too often, get into some sort of fracas with a co-worker, etc.


In 1918, a Carnegie Institute study put it this way: “85 % of your financial success is due to your personality and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. Shockingly, only 15% is due to technical knowledge.”


I believe that idea is still true today, and will be true tomorrow.  I predict that future organizations will hire for attitude and train for skill.  


Evangelist Chuck Swindoll has a great take on Attitude:


“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failure, than success, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company, a church or a home. The remarkable thing is that we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change the past. Nor can we change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We also cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you--- we are in charge of our attitudes.”


Attitude can’t really be taught, but it can be learned – we typically adopt the attitudes of those people who are around us. As we begin our new year, let us examine our own attitudes, realize how they affect those around us, and dedicate ourselves to positive reactions to our families, our lives, and our work.


Cleve Poole serves as the Vice President of Economic Development and Economic Development at Pioneer Electric Cooperative. This article was originally published in the Pioneer Electric edition of Alabama Living magazine in January 2017. 

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