cookie.jpgMy son got an interesting fortune cookie message the other day.

“If you want to get to the top get off your bottom.”

He and his sister laughed out loud. I thought they went right past the meaning of the sage Chinese cookie communiqué right to the potty humor — your bottom, but it turns out my nine-year old saw beyond the wisdom offered on the surface.

I asked him what it meant and he said: “If you want to get to the top you have to go there. You can’t be scared.”

Getting off your bottom, which means doing the work you need to do in order to reach a goal, is also about overcoming fear. I’m always struck by how hard people work when it comes to things they know, but often times getting to the top requires us to get outside of our comfort zone.

If you want a promotion, you need to know people can smell fear.

“What we think permeates the subconscious mind,” said Sarah Hathorn, executive coach and CEO of Illustra Consulting.

“From there it percolates up to drive action. Thoughts and ideas may seem subtle and private - but they eventually manifest into the real world to determine how others perceive us,” she maintained. “Be careful of those negative beliefs deep down in the dark basement of the subconscious mind they gradually undermine the ability to support higher levels of leadership and career promotion.”

She offered some of her tips on changing your approach –

* Mastering Attitude One Day at a Time: Of course it can be virtually impossible to have a positive winning attitude 24/7 because life is full of disappointments, frustrations and challenges. But how we respond to those bad days dictates what happens inside us on a deeper level. That’s why it’s imperative that we consistently practice mastery of a winning attitude. The good is that the more you practice overcoming negative thoughts the more natural it becomes to have a positive outlook.

* A Winning Attitude Leads to Greater Magnitude: It’s never too late to readjust your attitude and it is skill every great leader should acquire. I’ve seen how people who can shoulder greater responsibilities with a winning attitude always outshine their peers and competitors. A new and improved attitude can be the one key that unlocks your next BIG promotion. The better your attitude is, the greater the magnitude of your success will be.

* Leaders need to learn to self-diagnose their attitude and give themselves a daily tune-up. Practicing this may not be easy at first, but investing in a positive mentality can skyrocket your career to the next promotion and beyond - and that is how lifelong dreams become reality.

I think you also have to be able to laugh at yourself because you’re going to make mistakes. I’ve written often about how many mistakes CEOs have made on their way to the top. So find humor in mishaps, and also in fortune cookies.

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