Attitude Reflects Leadership, Captain

attitude courage leadership Feb 28, 2021

There is a great scene early in the movie Remember the Titans where two teammates are in a huge disagreement. Gerry Bertier, the captain and star linebacker, who is white, is arguing one point with his teammate Julius Campbell, another talented linebacker, who happens to be black. Bertier is pressuring Julius to step up his game. 

Julius counters with a different perspective reflecting on the clear lack of hustle between whites and blacks on their team.  Because of the dysfunction, Julius openly wonders why he should care for anybody other than himself.  In response, Bertier tells Julius, "That's the worst attitude I have ever heard."  It's in that moment, you wonder if Julius is going to clock Bertier, but Julius responds candidly and calmly putting the pressure back on Bertier.  "Attitude Reflects Leadership, Captain."  Bertier is left standing there with no words. It's as if he got hit by a 2x4.

It turns out to be a powerful moment in the movie. A wake up call. At the next practice, Bertier, as one of the captains, involves himself in a way that no one had seen before: pressuring his fellow white players to step up their play; praising Julius and his other black teammates in their efforts. Very quickly, because of the attitude change by Bertier (and also by Julius in that same practice),  you begin to see an attitude shift in the whole team!

Attitude is without a doubt is a difference maker.  I truly believe it.  The best advice I can offer is to share what I think are the 15 greatest attitude quotes of all time (including Julius's comment to Bertier). I hope these 15 quotes impact you as much as they have me.  Let me know which attitude quote you like the most, or maybe one that I missed!

  1. "Attitude reflects Leadership, Captain" - Julius Campbell
  2. "Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it." - Lou Holtz
  3. "The only disability in life is a bad attitude." - Scott Hamilton
  4. "Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude towards us." – John Mitchell
  5. "The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude." - Oprah Winfrey
  6. "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.” - Viktor E. Frankl
  7. "People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude." -  John C. Maxwell
  8. “A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results.” - Wade Boggs
  9. “Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.” - Hans Selye
  10. "Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude". - Thomas Jefferson
  11. "The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company ... a church ... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude ... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you ... we are in charge of our Attitudes." - Chuck Swindoll
  12. "Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude." - Zig Ziglar
  13. “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” – Muhammad Ali
  14. "Excellence is not a skill, it's an attitude" - Ralph Marston
  15. “A great attitude does much more than turn on the lights in our worlds; it seems to magically connect us to all sorts of serendipitous opportunities that were somehow absent before the change.” - Earl Nightingale

Let these quotes sink in.  Reflect on them.  And, as the Apostle Paul once instructed, let them "renew your mind."  Allow your attitude to be your greatest strength. Then watch how your attitude will influence other things:  your outlook, your circumstances, your business, your relationships, and your team! Always remember that "Attitude Reflects Leadership."  


P.S. For more thoughts on how to truly cast the right attitude, you may want to take a look at my free resource on the 5 Essential Attitudes of an Influential Leader.  


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