Change Your Mindset

Progressing from “position to pinnacle” is no easy task.  Even born leaders need to become fully aware of their mindset and actions.  Looking honestly at where you are and where you wish to be often uncovers traits to improve.  Instead of looking at an activity beyond your job description, consider how performing the task could benefit your perception.  Turn a mundane task into an opportunity to showcase your talents.

Move Away FromMove Toward
Death by PowerPointMasterful Platform Skills
Telling People What to DoInspiring People to Do
Autocratic Leadership StyleCoaching Leadership Style
Being GuardedBeing Vulnerable
  • Think about how you respond and are perceived by your leaders.  When you are asked to make a presentation, use the opportunity to practice your platform skills instead of reading and flipping through a mundane PowerPoint presentation.
  • When your team is assigned a project, structure the tasks in an inspiring way rather than just telling your team what to do.
  • Act as a coach instead of just the boss.
  • Be your authentic self with your team; demonstrate your vulnerable side through stories with a teachable point of view.

Reaching the leadership pinnacle is not just about your actions, it is also about your mindset. How you see situations based on your core values, consciously or subconsciously, affects the outcome. Many leaders use what Roger Schwartz calls a “unilateral control” mindset, trying to achieve goals by trying to control the situation. 

When you use this type of thinking, you assume you are correct, and those who disagree with you are incorrect.  When they disagree with your approach or decisions, they may not understand the variables. Problems are inevitable because of the actions of others. Not yours! 

There are perceived benefits in unilateral thinking, including the fact that you often win while acting rationally and keeping unpleasant feelings out of the conversation.  These may come at a risk to the process.  You risk alienating team members and creating an environment where there is less enthusiasm for the project.  You may not hear valuable feedback your team has to offer.

A better approach is called Mutual Learning, whereby you are curious, transparent, accountable, make informed choices, and use compassion.  Leaders work with their teams to achieve results by listening to and incorporating feedback.