Beyond the Build

Leadership

For Success, Attitude is a Good Start

Not too long ago, when I visited Interface‘s offices, I walked past a wall inscribed with these words:

To be healthy, wealthy, happy and successful in any and all areas of your life you need to be aware that you need to think healthy, wealthy, happy and successful thoughts twenty four hours a day and cancel all negative, destructive, fearful and unhappy thoughts. These two types of thought cannot coexist if you want to share in the abundance that surrounds us all.

I found the quote profound enough to snap a picture with my iPhone, then research the origin when I got home.

The author, Sidney Madwed, is a poet whose work often carries over into the business world. The premise is that our thoughts and attitude have great power in our lives. Madwed suggests that we attempt to gain control of the negative that may invade our minds to unlock the potential around us.

I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes, you get kicked down. Early in my career, there was a point that our business was largely centered around a single client. Our eggs were all in one basket. When they went down, we went broke. At that point, I had a choice: think “negative, destructive and fearful thoughts,” or find the positive and train my focus there. I chose the latter. I’m proud to say we recovered from the loss and came out stronger for it.

Since that point, I’ve made a concerted effort to banish any negativity that may enter my mind, and focus on being a glass-half-full kind of business leader. So far, it’s worked. I appreciated Madwed encapsulating the thought into two powerful sentences. We’d all do well to remember his words.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and President of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.