Robert Sutton, author for the Harvard Business Review has written this article which explores the concept that great leadership depends on the right mindset. Whatever your mindset is, that’s what your team will mirror. They will follow your lead. If changing your mindset is something you think will make you a better leader, remember slight adjustments go a long way in my experience so don’t try to change everything at once.
Great Leadership Depends on the Right Mindset
…At the same time, I’ve come to conclude that all the technique and behavior coaching in the world won’t make a boss great if that boss doesn’t also have a certain mindset.
My readings of peer-reviewed studies, plus my more idiosyncratic experience studying and consulting to managers in many settings, have led me identify some key beliefs that are held by the best bosses — and rejected, or more often simply never even thought about, by the worst bosses. Here they are, presented as a neat dozen:
- I have a flawed and incomplete understanding of what it feels like to work for me.
- My success — and that of my people — depends largely on being the master of obvious and mundane things, not on magical, obscure, or breakthrough ideas or methods.
- Having ambitious and well-defined goals is important, but it is useless to think about them much. My job is to focus on the small wins that enable my people to make a little progress every day.
- One of the most important, and most difficult, parts of my job is to strike the delicate balance between being too assertive and not assertive enough.
- My job is to serve as a human shield, to protect my people from external intrusions, distractions, and idiocy of every stripe — and to avoid imposing my own idiocy on them as well.
I disagree slightly with number three, of course a great leader will empower their people to do their best work and accept that progress comes in small achievements but the goals of the team are what drives the work forward so don’t forget the big picture and occasionally remind yourself and the people you are leading what the goals are and that you believe they can reach those goals. See for yourself how much great leadership depends on the right mindset and let us know how it works out.