Improve Your Attitude: Why Every Army Leader Should Do It

Today, I’m going to share five simple things you can do to improve your attitude. This post is really designed for military leaders, although it would benefit anyone.

I cannot stress the importance of having a good attitude.  One of the quickest ways to improve the morale in your unit is to improve your own attitude.

If you are the leader, you set the tone for the organization. The attitude of the boss is the attitude of the team.

If you are always negative, sarcastic, or pessimistic, you will have a negative impact on your unit.  On the other hand, if you are positive, optimistic and see the good in people, you will have a positive impact on your unit.

The best military leaders always maintain a positive mental attitude. Remember, the circumstances don’t make the person.  If anything, they reveal the person.

To be quite frank with you, you don’t need to be happy and chipper all the time.  Instead, you simply need to be aware of your attitude.

improve your attitudeIf you are having negative thoughts or feeling down, the best thing you can do is to “keep it to yourself.”  Talk about the “negative” things with your boss and send your “positive” thoughts with your team!

I learned a long time ago that Soldiers have enough things to worry about.  The last thing they need to hear about is their leader’s problems.

Does that make sense?

I understand that we all have different personalities and temperaments.  That’s okay.  You simply need to be aware of the “energy” you are projecting to others, and the impact it has on morale.

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Top 5 Ways to Improve Your Attitude

Listed below are five simple things you can do to improve your attitude.  They are listed in no particular order:

# 1 Set Written Goals

One of the easiest ways to improve your attitude is to establish written goals.  By doing so, you have something to strive for.

Your subconscious mind is a natural goal oriented mechanism.  If you have goals (personal and professional) you have something to work for and something to look forward to.

To be honest with you, your goals must be written down on paper.  You must be specific and have a deadline.  I’ve been setting written goals for about 10 years now and it has completely changed my life for the better.

Set goals for yourself.  Set goals for your unit.  Set goals for your subordinate.  Teach people to do the same thing.

Have a goal for your unit that everyone can strive for and be part of.  This will help your attitude and improve the esprit de corps in your unit.

# 2 Get More Sleep

It amazes me how many people simply do not get enough sleep.  During my time in the Army, I always felt tired.  Maybe you can relate?

You need to figure out your own sleep cycle.  Everyone is different.  Some people perform well on six hours sleep, while other people need eight or nine hours.

Figure out your sleep cycle and do what you can do get enough rest.  It might not be possible every single day, but do what you can to stay rested.

Whenever I get 8-9 hours sleep, I feel like a new person.  I am more alert and typically feel great.

If you aren’t getting much sleep at night try going to bed one hour earlier.  In addition, cut back on the caffeine and sugar after dinner.

# 3 Read Daily

Leaders are readers.  Every great military leader I know personally is focused on their own personal development.  They are avid readers because they want to learn from others. 

One of the best ways to learn is by reading.

Make it a priority to read 15-30 minutes every single day.  You can do this in the morning, at lunch, or at night before you go to bed.   You can even listen to audio books in your car or truck while you drive to work.

Read books about leadership, communication, military history and auto-biographies of successful people.

What you learn will give you additional insights about what you can do to improve your attitude and be a more effective military leader.

# 4 Get Plenty of Exercise

If you are like most people in the Army, you are probably stuck sitting behind a desk and computer most of the day.

Countless studies have shown that people who get regular exercise and stay active have a better attitude, and feel better about themselves.

Make physical fitness a priority.  Do PT every day.  Go to the gym.  Drink lots of water, take supplements, and eat a well balanced diet.

If you are busy, go before or after work.  Set up a work out schedule you can stick to and never miss a day.   If needed, find a gym buddy you can work out with and stay accountable with.  This will help keep you motivated.

Create the habit of staying healthy!

# 5 Build Relationships

It’s easy to forget that the “soldiers” we work with are “people” too.  Everyone has feelings, a family, and personal goals.  Everyone wants to feel important, be recognized for their contributions and be part of something bigger than themselves.

So many people don’t know anything about the people they work with.  Some leaders don’t even care.  They see their people as a means to their own goals.

That is the wrong approach to take.  The best leaders CARE about their people. They show a genuine interest in others.

Now, I’m not saying you need to be “buddy buddy” with the people you work with.  You shouldn’t.  If you’re the leader, the people who work for you are NOT your friends.  They are your subordinates.

That being said, you should know a little bit about them, such as the names of their family, their birthday and some of their goals.

I’ve always felt that the best, most effective leaders were the ones who build professional relationships with.their co-workers.  You do this by showing a genuine interest in others.

It’s true, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, attitude is everything.  The attitude of the leader is the attitude of the team.

Even if you are naturally happy and optimistic, you can improve your attitude. Everyone can improve their attitude for the better.

As a leader, you must be consciously aware of your attitude, because it affects everyone who works for you.  Some of the best ways to improve your attitude include (1) set written goals; (2) get enough sleep, (3) read, (4) stay active, and (5) build relationships.

I hope this valuable lesson helps you become a better military leader.  Do you have any suggestions on how to improve your attitude?  Any comments? Please post them below and have a great day!

5 thoughts on “Improve Your Attitude: Why Every Army Leader Should Do It”

  1. Setting goals is very important and I think most people only set vague goals like "Do a good job." You need to set specific goals such as "I'm going to complete three evaluations this week."

    Also, get some sleep. I know you don't have any time, you're just so busy. I'll be there is 1-2 hours a day you are doing something that could be replaced with sleep. You probably could skip that lest episode of Law and Order.

    1. Most people definitely don’t get enough sleep. I know I used to be sleep deprived. It has a big impact on your quality of life, performance and attitude. Setting specific goals is also vitally important.

  2. Whoever said that attitude is everything was absolutely correct. When your attitude is good, it reflects. As a leader, it is very important that you maintain a good attitude.

    You mentioned getting enough sleep, and you are right. On the other side of that are those who sleep too much. By sleeping too much, you can generate a bad attitude also.

    I believe the types of media we watch and listen to can also effect our attitude. Making better choices on the shows we watch and the music we listen to can help our attitude a lot.

    This was a great post and I strongly recommend we all take a good look at our attitudes.

  3. Nothing spread quicker than a bad attitude and the impact on unit or team morale can be devastating. You have great tips here that work for people in the military and the civilian world. For me, practicing some daily quiet time or meditation gives me a chance to reflect, calm me down and certainly improves my attitude. A priority to physical fitness is important too. Regular exercise is a total stress buster.

  4. It’s going back a long way, but some of Dale Carnegie’s early books on this subject were quite good. Not just psychobabble, but solid advice about how to build a positive attitude and make it work for you. How to Win Friends and Influence People is a classic that uses old-fashioned language but is well worth the time investment.

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