I was discussing with an ex-colleague the other day about what's more important to thrive in this VUCA world. Is it having the right leadership mindsets or possessing strong leadership skills? We came to the conclusion that in 2021 and beyond, mindset matters all. Put simply, our mindset – our beliefs that help us handle situations, impact the way we lead and sets the tone for the organization. Our mindset has a big effect on the company’s bottom line, setting the stage of its performance, productivity and, ultimately, its profitability.
The challenge, of course, is that while businesses have invested time in rethinking business models, the same focus hasn’t always been put on helping leaders consider (or even confront) their views on leadership and what kind of mindsets to have for today. Hence, it made me curious to talk to some elite leaders and find out what are their thoughts and beliefs they adopt that made them successful. I had consolidated a list of 50 leadership mindsets and would like to share a few with you in here.
"I stay curious"
Albert Einstein’s famous words, “ I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” Today’s leaders need to be curious, and know how to ask the questions that lead them to consider new ideas. When you are curious, you view tough situations more creatively. To develop your curiosity, hear and learn from people whose backgrounds different from yours. Try something new, great leaders are intensely curious about ideas that come from fields like arts, literature, philosophy and more. A curious mind and love of learning is a great part of leadership.
"I talk to myself instead of listening to myself"
As a leader, you will face all kinds of challenges, adversity, negativity, and tests. There will be moments you’ll want to give up. Dr. James Gills is the only person to complete six Double Ironman triathlons, and the last time he did it he was 59 years old. When asked how he did it, he said, “I’ve learned to talk to myself instead of listen to myself. If I listen to myself, I hear all the doubts, fears, and complaints of why I can’t finish the race. If I talk to myself, I can feed myself with the words I need to keep moving forward.” If you want to get control of your negative thoughts and stop the spiral into fear and pessimism, just talk to yourself differently.
"I value experimentation"
When a new idea pops up, too many people spend too much time trying to perfect it before they actually do it. Instead of waiting for perfection, run with what you’ve got, and fix it as you go. The main purpose is to quickly learn about what works and what doesn’t work. In one global company they have their leaders work on a small scale project, test a possible solution in 100 days or less and without the pressure of having to be right. This experimentation mindset frees us from self-imposed constraints, allowing us to continually learn versus the implementation mindset which that might stifle creativity.
"I do the opposite when I am stuck"
For this mindset, this will force you to rethink everything. And, it will give you confidence to take bigger risks. Why you are stuck at certain aspects of your life is because you keep doing things the same way, consciously and subconsciously. So, if you plan too much, try taking more action. If you tend to say no to new things, try saying yes. If you do things in an impulse, try to have a daily to do list. If you share your ideas with the same people over and over again, you’ll quickly find your thoughts stagnant. Find some adventurous and bold people, you’ll find yourself taking more risks and trying new things out. There are many variations to this, the key is to try the opposite of your normal responses.
I hope this article serves as an inspiration to look into your filter of the world in relate to leading self and others. I love to know your unique leadership mindsets too. Please comment below or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to know more or share yours.