Imagine this: You have been offered a job by two different organisations. Leader A of the first organisation sees challenges as an opportunity to grow and learn and is receptive to feedback. He truly cares about his employees and sets long term goals for the organisation. Whereas, Leader B of the second organisation avoids challenges and sees alternative opinions as a threat to his authority. He fires those who underperform and is more interested in solving the short term problems of the organisation. Who would you choose to work for? I’m sure most of us will choose Leader A without a doubt!
So why do the two leaders have widely different perspectives? Everyone can be a leader, but what differentiates a successful leader from an ordinary leader is the mindset! Mindsets shape how we understand the world and interact with those around us. It guides how we think, act and behave. If you are worried about not having the right mindset as a leader, don’t fret! The good news is that mindset can be changed and inculcated.
In today’s highly competitive society, a mistake could mean having to pack your desk and leave the organisation. Our ‘capabilities’ are often measured against our KPIs and work performance, so it is no wonder why we choose to avoid challenges. But leaders with a growth mindset don’t shy away from challenges or ignore the white elephant in the room. They believe that everyone can change and develop their abilities, talents and intelligence. Not all of us will conquer the challenge on our first try, but don’t let the failure get to you! See these challenges as an opportunity for you to learn and grow.
How receptive are you to feedback? Before you proclaim yourself as Team Open Minded, ask yourself these questions. Do you see those who speak up as a threat to your authority? Can’t stand those with differing opinions? Being a leader does not always mean that you are right. A successful leader is more interested in finding out the gaps in their knowledge than proving to others that they are right. Be open to feedback and embrace different perspectives, who knows, it could help you make a better decision!
Desire For Improvement
Always ask yourself. Why am I doing this? Is there a more effective or efficient way of doing things? You might ask, why try to find problems when things are doing just fine? The danger of thinking that we are always the best is that we become complacent. Organisational success does not happen by chance, it takes hard work and direction from the leaders. Without ambition and the constant need for improvement, your organisation growth will hit a plateau.
Remember, leadership is not about making yourself look good or stepping on others to propel yourself to greater heights. Think of leaders as lighthouses. They are the beacon of light that guides others to the right path and inspires them to become a better version of themselves. Recognise the strengths of others and push them to achieve more. For those who are struggling to find their footing, give them your guidance and help them to discover their strengths and weaknesses.
Find yourself getting caught up with the minor issues on hand? Do you panic when you are unable to achieve your short term goals? Rather than being fixated on short term issues, think about them in the long term perspective. The only constant is change. So don’t be fazed by the short term obstacles. Make changes to your plans or come up with a Plan B if needed. What employees need is a steadfast leader who can provide stability in times of adversity.
As Lao Tzu once said, “To know that you do not know is the best. To think you know when you do not is a disease. Recognising this disease as a disease is to be free of it.” The path to becoming a successful leader is definitely not a bed of roses, but making a conscious effort to change your mindset is the very first step.