Can Attitude Get You Fired? Two Attitudes to Avoid

Is attitude hurting your business?

According to a study by Leadership IQ 46% of new hires will fail within the first 18 months but 89% of that failure will happen because of attitude — not skill. When it comes to being employed, the ability to fit the small business culture and communication style is important.

business cartoon about being fired

But what about the leadership?

The 3-year Leadership IQ study included more than 5,000 participants and focused on employee attitudes. But in the business setting,  small business owners ultimately have to answer to THEIR employers:  the clients and customers.

I can’t help but wonder about those small businesses that do things to get themselves “fired.” After all, clients can and do move on.

Here are 2 quick attitudes to watch out for — attitudes that you and your team may be exhibiting, whether you realize it or not, that could get your small business fired:

1) An Attitude of Irritation

You work to get the client, but you undercharge them and now you’re irritated. Or you agree to do work outside of your core skill set and you get the job, but now you’re irritated because you have to do extra work in order to make good on your promise. Or you’ve built a business around something that you’re good at but hate doing, and now you’re irritated.

If you don’t do something about this attitude of irritation, it’s going to bleed out. And eventually you’re going to take it out on your team and/or your client — in small or big ways.  Or your team will sense it and start exhibiting the same irritation.  At the core, your clients like to work with people who are great at what they do and passionate about it. Do the kind of work that makes it easier for  you to be that kind of person.

2) A Cavalier Attitude 

If you and your team lack the proper concern for your client, then there is a problem. This is how clients see it:

“My business should matter to you as much as it matters to me or you shouldn’t keep my business.”

And while some unhappy customers and clients leave quickly, others hang around while they passively look for different options. And when they eventually find another option, they’re gone. In other words, your clients could be halfway gone and you don’t even know it.

Stay ahead of your clients by out-caring them. The key to this is:

  1. doing work that you’re passionate about,
  2. working with clients that you believe in, and
  3. choosing to care more and serve better.

With that combination you can be true to yourself and your clients — and that makes for a happier life and business.

Cartoon credit:  Andertoons  (backstory about “being fired” cartoon here)


Jamillah Warner Jamillah Warner (Ms.J), a poet with a passion for business, is a Georgia-based writer and speaker and the Marketing Coordinator at Nobuko Solutions. She also provides marketing and communication quick tips in her getCLEAR! MicroNewsletter.

5 Reactions
  1. Hi Jamillah,

    I think attitude is everything at work — whether you are an employee or a freelancer or a service provider.

    I remember “firing” one service provider who constantly whined about how she couldn’t hire helpers to work on my account because they demanded so much money. In essence she was telling me at least once a week that I was cheap and not paying her enough to be able to outsource the day-to-day work to someone else.

    Well, I had a point of view on that, too.

    First of all, I hired HER, not some unnamed independent contractors. Her staffing problems were just that — HER problems.

    Second, she quoted the price, and it was a stretch for me at the time because my company was a new startup. So while she thought she was being UNDERpaid, I thought I was OVERpaying.

    Third, who wants to associate with a whiner? It felt to me that my account was less than unimportant — that it was an outright irritation, just like the example you gave. So, I should pay her for the privilege of whining and making me feel like I was bothering her?

    Needless to say, that relationship didn’t last long. LOL

    – Anita

  2. Jamillah Warner (MsJ)

    Wow Anita, I can feel your story. And I see that happen a lot too – contractors quoting prices that ultimately they canNOT live with.

  3. I agree with this article & I’ve learned that when you go into a job interview or go into a job that you’ve had then you have to have a good attitude or customers won’t like the business & now you’ve just put a bad look into someone else’s buisness that hired you & was counting on you to make there business the best.

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