A New Opportunity or a New Perspective

Larry Olsen March 11, 2021

If underperformance is happening at your company, should there be a job change or an attitude change?

As a business leader, you may have considered – and acted upon – letting people go within your organization due to poor performance. Sometimes, that is the best and only option for you in certain situations.

I’ve been working with companies for 5 decades training their associates for peak performance, and more often than not, I see the problem with an underperforming employee is not in their ability, but in their attitude.

Business leaders oftentimes don’t need to change their people. Instead, they need to change their attitudes about their people. If you change your attitudes about others, they’ll change right before your eyes. Why? Because they are being treated differently now.

Anyone can break through to success simply by changing their thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors – in that order.

Successful business leaders only want one thing from their people, a fresh perspective. The only way they will get it is if they create fresh perspectives about their people. You get into a rut after a while by doing the same thing with the same people. It’s always refreshing when a new person joins the team with a fresh perspective!

If I bring out the best in you, you will treat me as I treat you. Leaders must be able to change their opinions about their employees, when they do, their employees’ performance will rise. Mahatma Gandhi said it best, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

If you’re not currently a leader, what can you do?

You can change your attitudes about your leaders, for one thing. And if you are truly looking for positive growth, the most important attitude to change is the one you have about yourself. What’s your attitude about yourself? Is it refreshing? Do you love what you’re doing and who you’re with? If not, learn how to change your attitude or you’ll change your job and the people you’re with, and unfortunately end up bringing the same “you” to the next opportunity.

In Hamlet, Shakespeare wrote, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Thinking controls our behavior in every facet of our lives. Our thoughts can be negative or positive, and whether they are negative or positive depends on our attitudes.

When you’re resisting something, recognize that you’ve got an attitude that may need changing. Sometimes, there’s not anything “wrong”, but your attitude won’t allow you to see information that doesn’t support it.

What we dislike most in others is what we dislike most in ourselves.

What I like most about you is what I like most about myself. This fundamental principle can teach us, through others, which attitudes we need to change in ourselves.

You can change your attitude the same way that you created it—by changing how you think about experiences. When you begin to change how you think, an important change will take place within you. You will shed the shell you’ve worn all these years. The shell your parents, your siblings, your community, and others created around you. You will begin to peel away your preconditioning and your learned behaviors and let the real, miraculous, one-of-a-kind “you” out.

If you see potential in your underperforming associates, don’t let them find new opportunities outside your organization. Give them a new perspective and let the new attitude be their driving force.



Aperneo is an achievement acceleration company providing individuals and teams quick, actionable guidance on how to break ingrained, ineffective habits. The Aperneo approach to professional development balances common sense, practical neuroscience, and personal accountability, enabling clients to gain insights and perspectives to live, work, and engage with more success.