When I direct a show I hand each of my actors two sheets of paper. The first has a list of goals and deadlines, and the second covers my expectations for the company. That second sheet is a bulleted list of behaviors and attitudes that are expected throughout the production. The dos and don’ts. What is appropriate to say and what is not.
I also adhere to this list, and have a few additional expectations of myself as director. For you and I, as leaders, we have a higher
responsibility to set the tone, mood, and work ethic for the entire team. When we do our homework, and show up prepared with the right attitude, it’s amazing how everyone else picks up on it. Hard work breeds hard work. Self-confidence breeds self-confidence. Fun breeds fun.[Tweet “Hard work breeds hard work. Self-confidence breeds self-confidence. Fun breeds fun.”]
But this level of leadership isn’t driven by the emotion of the moment. Whether traffic was bad, or the morning had a great start, the decision to set the right attitude is just that, a decision. There is always a plan. For me, I arrive one time, which of course means early. I leave all of my distractions outside, and focus on what’s in front of me. I check to make sure my attitude, demeanor, and language are all professional. And I get excited. I tell myself, “This is going to be three hours of pure creativity and joy for everyone.”
The goal is to have everyone that we lead excited, engaged, productive, and passionate. But If we don’t strive to meet these expectations as a leader, how can we ask the same from those we lead? Setting the expectations for our organizations starts with us. Attitude comes from the top down.