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Commentary | May 19, 2006

Is your cup half full or half empty?

By Master Sgt. Kim Viniard 1st Operations Support Squadron

You might think that is a silly question, but its answer says a lot. 

My mother used to (and still does) tell me two things that would help me succeed through any situation: pray and be positive. 

I would like to focus on the latter. You can call it optimism or karma. Either way, it is a key attribute to leadership. 

“There is little difference between ordinary people and leaders,” said W. Clement Stone, founder of Combined Insurance Co. (which is now a part of Aon Corp.) and author of one of the best-selling motivational books of all time, Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude. “The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether the attitude is positive or negative.” 

Effective leaders have a positive attitude. They look at how things can be done – not why they can’t be done. They look for ways over, around or through obstacles. 

Learning that attitude is a skill that can be acquired at any age and at any level, and governs success in all areas of life, including achieving a positive self-image, a successful career and financial independence. 

A leader with a positive attitude remains in high gear and passes this attitude on to his or her subordinates. 

With Air Force Smart Operations 21 upon us, we will have ample opportunity to use a positive attitude to get past new challenges. Reduction in redundant processes will give way to more streamlined operations. 

A modernized Air Force will be needed to keep the edge while we fight the Global War on Terrorism. We will need positive leadership to guide the Air Force through those changes. 

Attitude is one of the most critical attributes for success and looked for in the civilian sector as well. 

“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,” said Earl Nightingale, American radio announcer, author, motivator and public speaker. 

A positive attitude can only improve our rate of success. So, look for that silver lining and see your cup as half full.