CEO Online

Attitude Is Everything

I was very impressed by a group of Hong Kong high school students who came to the Chamber recently for the Closing Party of our annual Business-School Partnership Programme.

They were not only smart, polite and hungry for knowledge, they were also eager to roll up their sleeves and contribute tangibly to the organization and running of the event. The can-do spirit of those students was contagious, and their positive attitude will certainly contribute to their success when they enter the world of work in the near future.

This got me thinking about why some people have a positive attitude and a strong work ethic that make them want to give 110% whether in school or work, while others seem like they couldn’t care less. I know we all too easily dismiss teenagers with bad attitudes as hormones running wild, but we also run into people in the business world on both sides of the attitude scale. If we are lucky, we enjoy great customer service while using amenities, dining out at a restaurant or simply buying something in a shop. Such events make us gush about our experiences to friends and make us want to return again and again.

From street sweepers to waiters to lawyers and politicians, we all provide services and having the right attitude – regardless of our profession – determines the level of our success. Indeed, I constantly remind myself and my colleagues that the Chamber is in the services industry, and that our attitude is the key determinant of customer experience and our own level of success too.

People who see themselves as part of a team and anticipate each other’s needs are also incredibly valuable staff members. They are a joy to work with, they can be trusted, they put themselves before others, and they help motivate other colleagues to do their best. Such empathy is a key criteria for the world’s leading service providers, because having staff who can connect with customers is vital not just to their individual clients, but to the entire operation of the company and its reputation.

I’m sure part of the reason why so many of us return to the same restaurant or continue using the same service providers – even though they might be a little more expensive than other competitors – is because we value the attentive service and attitude that we are afforded. On the flip side of the same coin, we have all run into people whose attitude turns us off. Some are just outright rude, arrogant, lazy or difficult. Other times, it can be hard to put your finger on.

Attitudes are often the result of experience or upbringing, and they can have a powerful influence over behavior. They can also be a result of social roles and norms. While attitudes are enduring, they can also change. For example, someone who has worked very hard to build their success may become increasingly guarded to protect their territory. Yet in most cases it is teamwork that contributed to their success, and by the same token, a lack of threatens to stymie their further growth.

Successful entrepreneurs from the Chamber’s Young Executive Club spoke to the students at the Closing Party about the importance of attitudes in work and life. By giving up their valuable time to share their experiences and knowledge with students, they sent a strong signal that a can-do spirit, strong work ethic and desire to help others are the building blocks to success.

Posted on 2019/07/25