Updated: Oct 13, 2020
We are in October!
For businesses that have their financial year in September, October marks a fresh beginning after a tough second-half due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For other businesses with a December financial year-end, this is the first month of the last quarter. Working hard, the teams are racing towards the finish line!
Regardless of hard times, results are still expected.
Be it the start of the new financial year, or pushing to salvage the year, this is an opportune time for leaders to show up and make a difference.
Yes, Results Matter. Yet, how we go about achieving the results speaks volumes about who we are and what we stand for.
Here are 3 leadership mindsets to optimize results you cannot afford to miss.
The first "R" is not easy and rather counter-intuitive.
Release the assumptions that no longer serve.
The challenge is to recognize these assumptions that are often camouflaged as if they are facts. So how do we distinguish?
Our mind leverages on assumptions to increase speed and preserve effort. They are mental bridges we use to speed up meaning. Reflective work and the coaching process are excellent ways to become more aware of our assumptions. With awareness comes choice. Awareness gives us the choice to release assumptions that hold us back and no longer serve. We do have a choice to let them go.
What are the stories and principles that we picked up through our past experiences that no longer serve?
A quick example, in team meetings, how often have we heard a leader close down an idea with "Been there, done that and it did not work. Case closed."
This reminds me of the research called the Five Monkeys Experiment. A rough summary of it goes something like this:
Five monkeys are put in a cage with bananas hanging from above. A ladder is put in the room leading to the bananas. When the first group of monkeys goes for the bananas, the researcher sprays cold water on them. Brrrr... they do not like it at all!
Later, a second monkey will try to get those bananas. All the monkeys are hosed down with cold water yet again. Then, the researcher puts away the hose and never uses it again.
Later, when the third monkey tries to go for the bananas, the other monkeys will attack him to prevent him from climbing the ladder.
Then, a new monkey replaces an existing one. This monkey has never been sprayed with water. He tries to go for the bananas and get attacked by the rest for trying. After a few more attempts, he stops trying to avoid the attacks from the other monkeys.
The researcher continues to replace a second monkey with a new monkey. When this new monkey attempts for the bananas, the other four attacks him including the new monkey why was never sprayed with water! As the original 5 monkeys are replaced, the new monkeys do not try for the bananas.
What is your hypothesis on this experiment?
Examine our assumptions and take a moment to consider what are the assumptions that no longer serve. Release them.
Finding hard to Release the Mindset in spite of being aware of it?
Try this, borrowed from home organization guru, Marie Kondo, in her book Art of Tidying. In her editing process, before she lets an item go, she thanks them. Initially, I found this idea rather odd. Nonetheless, I tried it. The practice of being grateful brought joy and peace that enabled me to let go better.
Now, parallel it to our mind. Some of these mindsets that we need to release had served us well in the past. They previously served a purpose.
For example, a certain fear has kept us safe. That is why we hold on to them. But now, that particular fear is a mindset that only keeps us playing small. We need to grow. In order to make room for growth, we need to let them go.
The second "R" up is Reset. In my version, Reset is about to set, adjust, or fix in a new or different way of thinking.
We do not need to wait for Jan 1 to reset.
This is a great time to reset the way we think about each other. In complex times, few arrangements are cast in stone. This is especially true when it comes to the fluidity of team dynamics. Circumstances change, needs change. We must be open to Reset the way we think.
As a leader, this is a great question to ask: "What mindset do I need to Reset to better impact my environment? How do I help my team to reset theirs?"
The last "R" stands for Results! In almost 3 decades of work experience, I have met very few leaders who were not result-oriented. More often than not, results seem to be the end that justifies the means. Hmm...
I like this quote by Jack Dickson, " If you focus on the results, you will never change. If you focus on the change, you will get your results."
It has been ingrained in many of us to think, more is more. If one is good, two must be better!
If we have often gotten results with a certain method and the method starts to fail us, we will tend to increase its intensity, to acheive the results. This works to a certain point, then, we hit the plateau, a.k.a. "the ceiling".
The next level of our journey will require us to change our approach.
Complexity and uncertainty are on a steep rise. Chances are if we want to get results, we do need to consider what needs to change. The hardest change comes from within.
What is the change within my control? Me. Let's start there.
Release. Reset. Results! These are 3 Leadership Mindsets important for any leader to consider especially if we want to optimize results. I hope this has sparked some ideas for you as you lead your teams forward.
If you‘ve enjoyed this article, please do two things to help others find it: Like it and Share it 👏 IN SUPPORT OF LEADERS Reach out to me if you would like to brainstorm pro-active ways to support your leaders in these challenging times. Happy to help! ******************
I am #CoachWendyWong, passionate about helping talents optimize potential by building leadership skills creatively through coaching and training in Asia. Here's more about what I do: https://www.petadiri.com/