Why Not Change Your Attitude?

I hate Steve Rizzo. Why? Because he forces me to disrupt my attitude.

Ok, maybe that is a bit harsh.  But don’t you just hate it when someone says something that you know is right and then you are faced with a situation where you can’t run from that statement?  As leaders, we must have integrity, be authentic and take the stand, right in order to lead disruptive innovation.

Why Not Wednesday is part of our new Blog post schedule. Those that follow Murfield Coaching appreciate that we solve significant problems through innovative thinking. We work to magnify your unique value, not replicate what others do. That requires innovative thinking to solve significant problems. Our clients most appreciate our emphasis on building employee engagement, alleviating employee trauma, and unleashing disruptive innovation. Our research shows that innovation occurs most often within a cutting-edge organizational culture. 

Instead of writing a formal book review, why not do something more powerful. I’ll tell you how this book changed my attitude.

Book Review

Steve Rizzo is known for saying, “Happiness is MY choice.” I highly recommend both of his books, Get your SHIFT together (2013)and “Motivate This” (2016) because disruptive leadership begins by disrupting ourselves.

A few years ago, I’m flying back on the Red Eye from Seattle after spending a week with my two week old grandson (my oldest grandchild.)  What could be better than time with little Max, right?  Well, leaving really sucks (I hate that word but it is the only one that really fits.)  My flight gets pushed back an hour then an hour and a half, making the connection in Atlanta all but impossible.  I have to re-book the later flight, for 6 hours later.  Oh goody, I get to sit in the airport for all that time on 2 or 3 hours of sleep.  To make it worse, I don’t drink coffee!  I really wanted to be a victim here.  I was tired and wanted to get home but really wanted to spend more time with my grandson.  Lots to be a victim here, right?  I’m justified right?  I can get away with this victim attitude in this distant place right?

I’m trying to stay positive and it seems to work when we land in Atlanta about an hour early.  Could it be?  Might I actually make that flight anyway?  Then I realize, I’ve already changed the reservation.  I no longer have a seat on that early flight.  Crap.  (But I can’t blame myself, can I?  Wouldn’t it be better to blame that stupid customer service rep with a strange accent that I spoke with on the phone 12 hours ago?  Shouldn’t he have been able to tell me what to do?)  To top it off, “they” park us at the end of the international concourse, on the other side of the airport from the flight to Tampa.  So we walk, run, take the train, etc and it still takes 25 minutes to get there only to find them still boarding but refuse to talk to anyone that just approached from my late flight.  The gate agent is “too busy” to listen to the five of us wanting to fill the 10 open seats noted on the board.  Instead, she closes the airplane door!  How stupid can they be?  Right?  Wouldn’t you be angry?

Learn to Communicate Disruptively

I’ve got plenty to feel like a victim, right?  Plenty of reason to be in a bad attitude, right?  Not according to Rizzo.  Nope, “find the positive, keep your humor because it is MY choice how I react.”  At that point, I want to feel entitled to my bad attitude, after all, they are inconveniencing me.

OK, I’m being transparent here. Many of us feel like this at one time or another, especially when we just got off a red eye flight and haven’t slept.) That is exactly when we need a disruption. That might also be when we hate hearing that author’s voice in our heads.

“Can’t I shut him up?  He talks about a bigmouth inside but all I’m hearing is his unrealistic, sunshine pumping message.  How can I be happy when I came this close and now have to sit for 6 hours?”

Despite wanting to vent, I listen to Steve’s voice and disrupt that bad attitude. I bite my tongue, just a bit, when an official looking gentleman comes from the plane, dials a phone, no answer, dials another, no answer and finally a third.  Then, with a reassuring smile, said, everyone follow me, you all have tickets right?

In the end, my wife and I board the plane, find a better seat than we originally had, arrived home at our original time, and leave the airport happy.  Can’t beat that, right?  But even more, we knew that if we had to spend that time in Atlanta, we would have made the best of it.  It wasn’t the outcome that made the difference, it was the mindset.  Where once I might have gotten angry and “shared” my “wisdom” with any who would listen, today I managed to keep my cool.  Listening to that positive message, we didn’t give up and things worked out for the best.  We kept moving when we could have quit.  We helped set the tone a little better for others that might not have had that voice blaring in their heads.

Steve Rizzo’s message was right.  I can choose to be happy.

Build a Breakthrough Organization

We don’t have to be official leaders to make a disruptive innovation in the situation around us.  We step to the forefront and influence those around us when we maintain the positive mindset, helping others transform our thinking.  But we can also be a leader, a very bad one, when we blow our cool and vent our frustration at those simply trying to do the best job they can do – like airline personnel at 7:00 in the morning.

So I really don’t hate Steve Rizzo. I actually I appreciate him immensely.  I don’t really hate that he takes away my excuses and that he won’t let me settle for mediocre results.  Nope, obstacles are opportunities in disguise.  To lead my own life disruptive innovation in myself and those around, I must practice what I preach.  I can’t give myself excuses.  That is the way great leaders lead disruption.

Some might mistake this blog as a big endorsement of Steve Rizzo’s book.  Although I like the book and do recommend it, there is a much deeper message here.  As a leader, this morning I did a little better than I did before – and that is improvement.  My thinking is being transformed.  I’m working seriously on re-engineering my specific thoughts and finding incredible obstacles.  Minute by minute, thought by thought, action by action, I’m unleashing the ultimate.  That is the message.

Learn to Listen Effectively

Just imagine if, as business, civic and political leaders, we made that our focus each day.  Just imagine how much of a disruption we could make with our employees, co-workers and customers.  Just imagine how much more loyalty we would have?  Just imagine the increased performance, production and profits.

Blog Post Schedule

  • Mind Shift Monday features a powerful quote that sets the tone for a week of innovative thinking.
  • Thinking Bigger Tuesday expands on the topic and provides pillar content of innovative thinking.
  • Why Not Wednesday introduces you to books, articles and research that I have found useful in solving significant problems with innovative thinking.
  • Transformational Thursday explores a TED Talk on the topic of the week. These talks are likely taken from the ones I have featured in my TED Talk Think Tank mastermind for radical change over the last five years.
  • Far Out Friday features crazy ideas that just might lead to solving your persistent problem.

(c) 2019 Murfield International, Inc.




Loren Murfield, Ph.D.

We work with leaders and organizations to solve significant problems with innovative thinking. What problem is frustrating you? Contact us today.

Start learning how you can engage employees during their most traumatic moments in our newly revised and just-released book, “The ROI of COMPASSION.” Watch for the formal release of our new book, “Leading with the Power of Compassion” coming very soon.

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