Simply put, a mindset is a way of thinking. It is a collection of thoughts and beliefs that shape the way you act, the things you believe, and the habits you develop. Mindset goes directly to the heart of leadership.
You can’t be a great leader if you don’t have the right mindset. Everything we do in leadership starts in our mind and gets transferred to our teams.
There is no telling how many billions of dollars have been lost because the mindset of the leader was control, control, control. The reality is you are not in control, and this can cause some people to panic.
As I write this Marty’s Minute, the one thing that jumps out at me is how much psychology is required to be a leader in these times. I am not thinking, “How can we use psychology to manage our people?” I am thinking, “How we can we use psychology to manage ourselves?” Our brains are so wired to protect ourselves that if we don’t get our mindsets right how can we lead other people?
When I look back at crappy leaders what I see is a pattern of people who are smart, know their craft, and have vision. But what they have not mastered is themselves. While they are acting out against other people or the event in front of them, in reality what they are doing is acting out against themselves. They are having their own internal battles and it manifests in outbursts and negative comments.
These types of leaders run the greatest risk of isolating themselves at the very moment of success. Because of their internal battles and aggressiveness, they are constantly looking out for enemies, sometimes degenerating into paranoia when they are under stress. When this happens, instead of doing what’s right, they do the opposite. Instead of seeking sound advice, they listen only for the answers they want to hear. They don’t learn easily from others. They don’t like to teach, but prefer to indoctrinate and make speeches. They don’t step back and assess the situation, they step in and dominate meetings. The result for the organization is greater internal competitiveness and fighting at a time when they need to come together.
Leadership is hard. Leadership is a muscle that needs to be exercised and developed. You can read all you want about it, but if you don’t start putting these lessons into practice you will fail.
Next time you are faced with a difficult situation, what are you going to choose? A positive mindset or the opposite, a negative mindset? Once you figure out what you want, the rest is easy.
Until next time…I’m Marty, make every minute count.
P.S. I made a video about the Mindset of a Leader where I show a helpful chart to consider – check it out here.