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We want to be successful more often in our business and personal efforts. Living into adulthood we have seen failures and mistakes are a part of life. A lot of life is about testing what works and does not. And yet, circumstances change and what worked consistently before no longer does for us. This change of conditions also applies to the children, to animals, to plants, even to microorganisms. This is when all life must go back to testing what works to achieve success again.

This is persistence. It is an attitude of willing to do work on a task until a goal is reached. This attitude will not be enough all by itself. New skills and knowledge need to be learned along the way. These new skills and knowledge may be too small to notice, but they are there. Yet, the attitude of determination and perseverance are critical to make the commitment to keep acting until the goal is reached. The applied skill and knowledge were key to the success but they were not the force that drove us to our goal.

What are other components that give us the strength to commit and keep at it? Well, purpose is a big part of it. Purpose comes out of knowing why the goal must be achieved. Knowing what needs to be achieved is important so that the goal is defined well enough so we can stay on target. As we get closer to our goal we probably will define it much better. Know how, or appropriate skill, is also critical, even if the skill set is simple. Basic swimming is a simple skill, to be able to stay afloat and move across a pool. However, without the skill of being able to swim we might drown in the pool even with extensive knowledge about the pool or having great determination.

What if we delegate many tasks that we are not good at or that others can do just as well as us? Great! Then the skills and knowledge of effective leadership are needed here. The attitudes of respect, inspiration and demanding accountabity will be vital in driving the process toward the goal.

So what comes first? Atittude, knowledge or skill? We have to apply attitude first and it must be strengthened if the goal is difficult to achieve. Knowledge does not make us want something. Neither does skill. But an attitude of wanting and knowing why we want a goal is essential.

How do we strengthen and get better at using our attitudes to serve our purposes in business? Attitudes are not as easy to examine and put into words or a diagram as skills and knowledge lend themselves to be. But we can learn how be effective at using attitudes through training and internal / external practice. Having a good mentor, a good network of business that you regularly meet with, and setting goals for your self improvement are all important.