A winning attitude is essential in today’s AF

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Today's Air Force is constantly changing with funding cut backs, manpower reductions, housing privatization and increasing deployments to support the war on terror around the world. All of these issues create stress in our jobs, family life and personal life; we need to keep a winning attitude and positive outlook on life.
So, what is an attitude, why is it important and how do you and I develop a winning attitude? Lou Holtz, Former Notre Dame Football Coach, said it best with these words, "Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it." An attitude is an inward feeling expressed by behavior. It can be our best friend, worst enemy or something which draws people to us or repels them. An attitude is more honest and more consistent than our words. Now that we have defined what an attitude is, we can already see why a good attitude is very important.
Maybe some of you need more proof. I like numbers because they help me get my point across. In the Civil Engineer Squadron, customer service is a big part of our job. Why do customers quit or get dissatisfied with their providers? Customers quit for a number of reasons: 1 percent die, 3 percent move away, 5 percent for other friendships, 9 percent for competitive reasons or price, 14 percent for product dissatisfaction, but 68 percent quit because of an attitude of indifference toward them by some employee. Let me give you some very important specific axioms about how our attitudes are important. Attitudes determine our approach to life, relationships with people and the difference between success and failure. Our attitude can turn our problems into blessings and give us an uncommonly positive perspective.
How do we develop a winning attitude? Just like everything else in life it takes work and a commitment, "there are no free lunches". We must make a commitment with ourselves and make a choice to change our bad attitudes and habits into good attitudes and habits. I am one of those people who need examples to follow. Abraham Lincoln is one of the best examples to follow. He had every reason to have a bad attitude but chose not to.
Well, I know my attitude is far from perfect, but today and every day that follows, I am making the commitment to have a winning attitude. On your pursuit to a winning attitude, I recommend you read the following books: "The Winning Attitude" by John C. Maxwell and "Lincoln on Leadership" by Donald T. Phillips.