Graham Westley, a soccer manager in England’s lower-leagues owns a company called AIMITA – Attitude Is More Important Than Ability. He’s right. Attitude is more important than pretty much anything. OK, he wasn’t always on point with his ideas, like having the players dancing ring-a-rosie while a corner came in, which was harmlessly cleared by defenders who weren’t dizzy from spinning. However, the players were committed and fought for each other, and that’s why he’s a medal winner.
At the time of writing,has just won his six straight game as “interim” manager of Manchester United. United are playing with confidence, flair, determination, and fun. At times they look like the Manchester United OGS used to play for. This is the same team Jose Mourinho was failing with. What happened? Attitude.
Did the United squad suddenly increase in ability? Of course not. They had a change of attitude that changed the way they use their ability. It’s the same attitude that has a young boy out practicing at the soccer field on his own while the moon comes out. It’s the desire to play, to improve, and something we don’t like to talk about in youth sport – the desire to be the best.
It feels good to work hard and earn the fruits of our labour. It encourages us to work harder – it creates the environment where out attitude changes and our abilities help us to achieve. As coaches, leaders, parents, peers, friends, spouses, and as humans, one thing we can do better to make the world a better place is to help others have a better attitude. Attitude is more important than ability, simply because with a poor attitude our ability doesn’t have a place to shine.
Here are the three takeaways for today:
1 – “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re probably right.” – Henry Ford. And although this comment doesn’t account for the Duning-Kruger effect, if you think you’re going to fail, you probably will.
2 – Attitude is the fuel. It is more important than ability because attitude is where ability comes from. Attitude is what drives a kid to practice in the dark on his own. No attitude, no desire, and there is no improvement.
3 – We can’t force an attitude on our players, kids, employees, spouses. We have to create a world where they want to achieve, grow, develop and do well. What motivates them? When we find this out, we can help their attitude.
There are many things attitude is more important than. Ability is certainly one, and this week we’ll look at why the attitude we choose, and help others to choose, is one of the most important things we can do to create a better world.
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