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Three Ways You Display a “Can Do” Attitude

This is not the over-caffeinated cheerleader attitude some people turn on depending on who is watching.

Some people always make things happen, and some people always find reasons why they can’t make it happen. Even in the face of insurmountable odds, some people always find a way to accomplish the mission. The ones who accomplish the mission have a “can do” attitude.

Henry Ford said: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t - you are right.”

I am an observer of people. I am paid to go into organizations and observe leaders and teams and give my advice on how they can improve. The leaders who bring me in always want to know “Who stood out?” They ask who their future leaders are. The easiest way to identify those people is based on their attitudes.

We are not talking about the over-caffeinated cheerleader attitude that some people turn on and off based on who is in the room. We are talking about the “can do” attitude that the military values and expects from the front line soldier all the way up to the commanding general.

The military understands that the best plans are going to fall apart once the first bullets are fired. As soon as obstacles present themselves or unexpected circumstances arise, do the soldiers throw their hands up in the air and give up? Or do they adopt that “can do” attitude and find a way to accomplish the mission, no matter what?

On the frontlines in business or in public service, the same “can do” attitude often determines the larger team’s success. It also signals who can be relied upon when things don’t go as planned.

People with “Can Do” Attitudes Do Three Things

  1. Don’t Make Excuses

When someone has a “can do” attitude, they don’t have time to make up excuses, or hear the excuses of others. They are focused on solving the problem that is slowing down progress. They aren’t trying to avoid responsibility for failing, they are seizing responsibility for success.

2. Solve Problems

A “can do” attitude shifts the focus from problem finding to problem solving. The person with the “can do” attitude understands that problem solvers bring real value to a team. Being a problem finder is easy and doesn’t require much effort. Problem solving is where leaders, no matter what position they hold, step forward and lead.

3. Inspire Others

When one person on a team steps forward and displays a “can do” attitude, other people follow. No matter what attitude someone chooses, it is contagious. A negative attitude infects others, and so does a “can do” attitude. You can choose which attitude to spread to others.

If you want to find the future leaders in the midst of frontline employees, look for the person with a positive and “can do” attitude in all circumstances. The circumstances don’t determine their attitude, they do. They say “can do”. They don’t make excuses. They solve problems. And they inspire others. Doesn’t that sound like a leader we all want to follow?

Dig Deep Question:

● When has your attitude determined your success?

● Where will you need a “can do” attitude this week?


Here is a quick assessment that will take you 5 minutes to figure it out. Nobody will ever see your results but you.

Warning: If you are not going to be honest with yourself this is a worthless assessment

To take the assessment use the QR code above or go to

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