Here is a quick question: “Can a leader make a big difference (through a great team, organization or product) operating in a ‘survival’ mindset?”
You guessed it right if you said No. They can’t. Here’s why:
To make a big difference, a leader has to operate from the zone of “abundance”. Zone of “possibilities”. Leadership, as we know, is about expressing yourself fully through your work. Leaders can seldom express themselves completely when they are in “survival” mindset. It is a bad state to be in. In the anxiety of survival, they only do things that directly or indirectly help them stay afloat. When they start focusing on doing those “necessary” things, they loose focus on doing the “right things”. They try to protect, avoid risk, enforce and create barriers.
Seth Godin, in his book Linchpin says that “anxiety doesn’t protect you from the danger, but from doing great things.” – the state of anxiety limits your thinking, pulls you down and keeps you from thinking abundant.
Abundance mindset is totally opposite – it acknowledges the constraints and works around them to create possibilities. To think about better ways of doing work. To see/solve those impending problems. To deliver more than expected. To move from ‘satisfaction’ to ‘delight’ to ‘wow’. Abundance mindset sees opportunity where scarcity mindset sees problems. It is about thriving – not only surviving.
Bottomline: Mindset matters when you are set out to make a big difference. Napolean Bonaparte said this – “A leader is a dealer in hope”. Hope comes from thinking in abundance and possibilities. To make a bigger difference, leaders have to move from “survive” to “thrive” – from “scarcity” to “abundance”.
- Read this amazing story of two shoe salespeople – and what it means to have an abundance mindset.
- My friend and fellow blogger Utpal Vaishnav wrote “Contribute Beyond Your Title With Assumed Responsibility And Take The Right Decision! – which is a story about a Leader Beyond His Title who lead to create a win-win-win situation for the organization, the client and himself. It was also featured in a number of blog carnivals and round-ups. Great story – must read!
- Stay tuned for a review of Seth Godin’s book Linchpin – soon!