A Blog by John Bossong

Two Leadership Game Changers

Two things can change the way you work. The way you lead. The way you manage. The way you interact with your family and friends. Success (as you define it, not other people) is rooted in two things, effort and attitude.  Why, because you control them both.

You don’t control the economy. Customer decisions. Circumstances or the past. You do control your effort and your attitude.  Where do you focus your time and energy?

There’s more, but effort and attitude are the key ingredients.  You can have all the skills, abilities and credentials but without a commitment to effort and a positive attitude, success (as you define it) may be difficult.




What most people see when an individual, organization or team achieves success is the end result. The trophy. The championship. The great company culture created.  The tree of leaders emerging from an organization.

What appears to have happened is more often than not the result of years or decades of hard work (effort). Thus the saying, “effort equals results”.

The professional golfer who spends thousands of hours on the practice range hitting balls.

The musician who spends years learning his or her craft.

The company started in a garage or on a card table.

Their success seems so immediate. Almost effortless. It’s ironic, because the effort is behind the scenes. Day after day, year after year, minute after minute and failure after failure. There’s no substitute for effort. There’s no quick fixes. You can’t microwave effort.

Best selling author Malcolm Gladwell references the 10,000 Hour Rule in his book Outliers.

Achievement is talent plus preparation. The problem with this view is that the closer psychologists look at the careers of the gifted, the smaller the role innate talent seems to play and the bigger role preparation seems to play,  Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers.

Preparation. Effort. You don’t have to be the most gifted or talented, but you can outwork your competition. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are the two best quarterbacks in the NFL because they are the best prepared.  They are obviously talented and gifted.  But, what they do in a game is just a reflection (mirror image) of their preparation (effort).  They outwork (effort) their competition.

What you see are touchdowns and championships. The results of hours, years and decades of preparation. Overnight success?


In building any winning team, it’s important to remember that the members of the team don’t have to be perfect, they just have to keep trying to be the best they can be. That’s my definition of a winning attitude,  Mike Krzyzewski, Leading With The Heart.

What’s your definition of a winning attitude? Can you define it? Can you put it down on paper? There’s no right or wrong answer. But, you need an answer.

There is nothing good or bad, only thinking makes it so, – Hamlet

You will encounter good and bad this week, this year and in the future. The great thing is you have a choice. A choice to choose your attitude. How you react. How you handle the bad means just as much as how you handle the good.  One great resource about having a great attitude is Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning.    If you get a chance, read it.

Effort and attitude. Two powerful game changers in your leadership journey. Commit to preparation (effort) and staying positive (attitude).

You control both.


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