There has been a debate for years about leaders: Are they born or made? Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in between. Many leaders work hard to get where they are. They hone their mindset of leadership, which, truly, is accessible to all of us. Do you have the right frame of mind to be an excelling leader as well?
Why Great Leadership Matters
Behind every successful person, be it athlete, employee, or entrepreneur, lies a coach. Or perhaps a series of coaches and leaders. These coaches may not have technically been coaches; they could have just been important influencers. But since we learn a little bit from each interaction, we are constantly seeing leadership in action.
When someone close to us models great leadership, we are inspired. When they model poor leadership, we’re left wondering how they even got in that role.
Great leadership is all about mindset. The mindset of leadership can be strengthened and can even be developed. To succeed, you have to be ready to walk the walk and talk the talk. You have to be all in.
What is the Mindset of Leadership?
Definitions of mindset vary, but key components included in the definition are attitude and intention. The mindset of leadership is about how you think and feel, as well as your plan and purpose.
A Psychology Today article describes the mindset of leadership as: “the attitudes, beliefs, and expectations you hold that act as the foundation of who you are, how you lead, and the ways in which you interact with your team.” In other words, having a leadership mindset means that you collect everything about leading and leadership—your style, your perspective, your decisions, your attitude, how you interact with people, and more—into one box. Great leaders, of course, strive to continually think outside that box by always strengthening and updating their mindset.
Bring Your “A” Game
Creating a mindset of leadership means always striving to be better, to give more. The energy that the leader or coach has when leading is reflected in their team members. And that energy permeates the entire team and organization as a whole. That means great leaders always bring their “A” game: adaptability, accountability, and attitude.
As the old adage goes, the only constant is change. Flexibility and resourcefulness in the face of change are essential to leadership. The mindset of leadership must be not only acceptance of change but the ability to adapt to it. Taking it a step further, great leaders don’t just aim to adapt to change, they strive to overcome and excel at it, to leverage change to shape their future successes.
Great leaders are responsible for their own actions and decisions. They don’t play the blame game. It’s about honesty and transparency. A leader with a strong conviction for personal accountability, and who demonstrates it without fail, is a leader who inspires and builds trust. And trust is at the core of teamwork and collaboration.
You’ve heard the saying that “attitude is everything,” and it’s true. Your attitude is also contagious, meaning your team will pick up on it, be influenced by it, and likely mirror it as well. Positivity. Confidence. Commitment. Staying calm under pressure. Going the extra mile. These are all fundamental to having the attitude and the mindset of leadership.
Be Coachable to Be a Coach
The best coaches and leaders are, themselves, coachable. They know that developing a mindset of leadership is ongoing. They continue to learn, grow, and evolve. Great leaders don’t have all the answers, and they are strong enough (and smart enough) to admit that. As someone to whom others look up, it’s important to admit your faults and shortcomings. To ask for help, and to offer help readily. Take feedback at its face value and always strive to improve.
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