The Difference Between Success and Failure: Attitude and Ownership

What does the concept of WE and SERVICE mean to you? For me, this concept is foundational, it is fundamental to my purpose. At HORNE, it has become our “North Star” for the way we make decisions, always pointing us to true north. When we think about a WE and SERVICE approach, I think it can be evaluated as two main components: attitude and ownership. For me, and for our team, the importance of a positive attitude and an ownership mentality make all the difference in our journey to build the Wise Firm.

WE and SERVICE start with being intentional about having a positive attitude each day. Easy enough right? Not exactly. We have all lived the scenario of contagious complaining.  A co-worker (or client or kid) completely influences our focus, motivation, and sense of purpose with their negative approach to life. And if we are being honest, it is easy to join right in and rattle off a few complaints about the neighbor’s dog, or the mailman, or Spam sandwich made by your loving spouse that morning. The problem is that while it may feel good in the short-run, negativity is a killer for morale (WE) and often has a snowball effect on performance (SERVICE).  Choosing to be intentional about bringing a positive approach to the office every day has numerous benefits, including: spurring creativity (because the naysayers are limited);  reinforcing the trust of team members with a consistently positive approach to the workplace; and setting a tone for client service that emphasizes our passion. Although it sounds simple, we all know it is difficult. But bringing a positive attitude and positive energy to work every day can mean the difference between success and failure.  It sets the direction for WE and SERVICE.

In addition to a positive attitude, WE and SERVICE is also reliant on team members taking an ownership mentality to all aspects of their career. I see ownership as taking a big-picture approach even to daily activities and routines. It is the act of focusing on our individual role as team member in establishing daily best practices that will support our long-term success and mission. It’s about owning my client service, owning my attitude, owning my career, and owning my interactions with team members.  I know I often need to set aside self-interests and serve the needs of others to fulfill my purpose. Ownership means it isn’t all about me.  It’s about WE.

In an industry riddled with change, uncertainty, and increasing competition, I believe it’s attitude and ownership that will lead us to success as individuals and as a firm.


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About the Author

Nick is a supervisor in construction services focused on financial statement preparation, customer relationship maintenance and process improvement and evaluation.  Fueled by his passion to #beEvenBetter, he encourages team members to seize every opportunity to share a positive attitude and an ownership mentality with their team and their clients.  

Topics: Building a Wise Firm, Culture, Attitude

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