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Sean Luce

The Importance Of Attitude


Attitude is contagious. A great leader with a great attitude can take everyone with him or her to the top. Attitude is one of the only cutting edges we have in business and especially in sales. Over the years, I have told this story in most of my seminars and to all the sales staffs Ive worked with. Its the story of the two Zen monks who were going home from the monastery when they came upon a woman who was standing on the banks of the river crying.

One of the monks went up to her and said, My dear lady, why are you crying? She responded, The river is flowing, my dress is long, I am about to be married and I cant cross that river without getting my dress wet. What should I do?

The one monk said, Jump on my back and Ill carry you across. After crossing the river, he put her down on the other side. He and his brother monk then continued on their way to the monastery.

About a mile from the monastery, the one monk who had carried the woman across the river noticed that his brother monk had said absolutely nothing to him. He looked at him and said, My dear brother, what is wrong, what is troubling you? His brother monk said, You know we monks are to have nothing to do with women. My brother, I put that woman down on the banks of the river five miles back. Its been you who has carried her all the way to the monastery.

Wow! What a difference in attitudes. The one monk who simply did what had to be done and his brother monk who probably lost out on some great scenery on the way back to the monastery and was weighted down by anger and frustration. Attitude is really the key here. I think all of us, at some point in our lives, have figuratively carried that woman five miles to the monastery -- lugging her, dragging her, pulling her, when all we had to do was drop her off on the side of the river -- five miles back. I know in my case, I have carried her more than once to the monastery.

Whether we are in sales or in management, we dont really spend enough time analyzing our own attitudes and saying. What does it take for me to change my attitude so I can become a better performer? I have always thought that in order to change the attitude of others, you first have to change your own attitude.

Some of you might have this hanging in your office, heck you might have it hanging in your home. Its never left my office. I think it sums up the whole meaning of attitude as written by Charles Swindoll:

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude in my life. Attitude is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.

It will make or break a companya churcha home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we haveour 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 all in charge of our attitudes.

So it is with us. Whether you are a salesperson, a sales manager, a general manager, a programmer, production director, or a receptionist, we all are in charge of the only thing we have that no one else can affect unless we let them, and that is our attitude. I think everything else is academic unless you have a great attitude. Remember, the Liquid Fire is not your calamity. The Liquid Fire is your cleansing.

Sean Luce is the Head National Instructor for the Luce Performance Group International and can be reached at or You can find his new book The Liquid Fire on

(1/27/2014 12:17:55 PM)
You're very welcome Erin! And yes, it is free! Thank you for your comment.

- Sean Luce
(1/27/2014 12:16:43 PM)
Thank you Tom. That's a great quote from John Maxwell! Thank you for sharing that!

- Sean Luce
(1/27/2014 12:04:39 PM)
Yes! All great points! Thank you.

AND... as critical as it is, it's an internal resource that is FREE.

- Erin Warhol
(1/27/2014 6:28:36 AM)
Great article Sean!

The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That's the day we truly grow up.

- John C. Maxwell

- Tom Nebel

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