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Attitude: How Important Is It Really?

The Clifton Review

The Clifton Review is a tri-weekly column that examines the question of the Clifton project along with the evolution of the war between two billionaires. We covered the start of this war with articles describing the battle over easement rights, the mysterious burning of a home, the blocks to rebuilding, and countless questionable court filings.

The 2018 series salutes fashion mogul Peter Nygard’s Golden Jubilee detailing his rags to riches story and incredible business success over these past fifty years. The Clifton Review will take an inside look at how he did it.

Attitude: How Important Is It Really?

By P.J. Malone

A very popular saying in Bahamian culture, and likely elsewhere, is ‘your attitude determines your altitude’.

Despite the risk of such a discussion getting too pedantic, a focus on attitude can be quite instructive in understanding how fashion mogul Peter Nygard took his business from 800 thousand dollars in sales to 800 million dollars in sales 50 years later.

Attitude is one of those ideas, though not clearly defined, that is pretty much understood by most people. It is commonly used, not just by teachers extoling the importance of a positive attitude with young students, but also when talking about how employees approach their jobs. In fact, “attitude” is a characteristic on many employers’ performance appraisals.

Beyond thinking about attitude as either a positive or negative personality disposition, for our discussion, we are looking at attitude as the way an individual approaches a task—as describes “tendency or orientation, especially of the mind” towards a task.

It appears that in the case of Peter Nygard his attitude has made all the difference in the world with his success. We previously discussed how he has an uncompromising belief that ‘nothing is impossible’—not surprising having grown up watching his grandfather, with one hand and no legs, climb stairs, do farm work and drive a buggy, and having heard the story of how his father chased down a bakery truck over several days to get a job.

If you have the attitude that nothing is impossible, imagine what impact that has on a business.

Think about it. If you believe that nothing is impossible, then problem-solving for you is a whole new kettle of fish.

If you need to resolve a difficult situation your business is in, as a believer ‘nothing is impossible’, you’re going to approach it differently. Instead of thinking ‘I need to identify a solution that would work’, you are likely to think, ‘I need to identify a solution and make it work’.

What’s the difference? There are several.

The difference is judging whether or not a solution will work before trying it as opposed to implementing the solution and making it work.

The difference is finding a solution dictated by the problem as opposed to finding a solution and tailor making it to resolve the problem.

The difference is finding a solution using limited thinking or finding a solution and using endless possibilities.

This attitude, this belief that ‘nothing is impossible’ already puts you way ahead of the competition. It opens up the possibilities of what you can do within your company and where you can take it.

Imagine if you had a number of other factors that also contributed to your ability to achieve success to the nth degree.

In researching Peter Nygard, we’ve learned a number of fascinating things about his overall approach to business that is, no doubt, totally responsible for his level of success in business.

Stay tuned for discovering how his approach, his attitude toward his business has made all the difference.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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