Developing a Leadership Mindset
To become a successful and influential leader, you have to focus on developing a leadership mindset.
Success is an indication of leadership. Leadership is an indication of success. Come with me as I explore developing a leadership mindset. Let's look toward these 3 things first:
1: You have to see your team as a team of people.
Each individual that you lead, or will lead, has their own hopes, dreams, goals, feelings and ideas. You have to help them get what they want out of life. What you want is secondary to what they want. If you're a great leader, you'll find a way to make both happen.
This type of thinking, of seeing others as people and not as objects to meet the needs of the business, can revolutionize how you lead your team. In Leadership and Self-Deception, the authors at the Arbinger Institute say that “Either I'm seeing others straightforwardly as they are – as people like me who have needs and desires as legitimate as my own – or I'm not.”
You are a single person in a group of individuals who are probably more like you than not. The first step in developing a leadership mindset is to change the way you see people.
2: You have to always be growing and leading.
Leaders are continually growing, reading, learning, and being active. In order to lead, you can't be behind. When you look out across your team and those you lead, you can't be the least read and slowest growing person in the picture. Just like John Maxwell says in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and The Law of the Lid, “Leadership ability determines a person's level of effectiveness.” If you're not developing your leadership skills, and if you're not continually learning, your effectiveness will be limited.
But be encouraged; in order to be a great leader, you don't have to be the best at everything. In sports, great coaches aren't the best players and vice versa. A great leader, as well as a great coach, simply (yet expertly) knows how to get the best out of their people and how to put the right people in the right positions.
3: Develop and communicate your vision.
A vision that you don't communicate is a hallucination. Not only can your team not carry out your vision if they don't see it, but they can't believe in it either. Successful visions are based on meeting the needs of customers. Successful visions provide for growth on your team. A complete vision will translate into a mission which is based in actions that meet your goals.
Remember that in Proverbs, chapter 29, verse 18, it says
Where there is no vision, the people will perish.
You've probably heard that before. But you may not have ever heard the last part of the verse: “but he that keeps the law, happy is he.” If your vision is the bow that directs your ship, you'll be happy.
As the leader, it is your job to live out the vision that you've communicated with your team. If you don't, no one else will. You can't slip and you can't falter. If you don't believe in your vision, you can't get others to. Get your team to believe with you and you'll be unstoppable because people will go to extraordinary measures to do something in which they believe and to which they can commit.
Finally, stay positive. And remember, you can't make a positive change with a negative attitude. If you do these 3 things, you'll be well on your way to developing a leadership mindset.
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