“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.” Benjamin Disraeli
We all have bad days — someone cuts us off on the way to work, the dog chewed up your favorite slippers, or maybe a conversation with your boss or co-worker didn’t go as expected.
While you know that these challenges are probably short-lived, they still affect your mood. Still, if you’re not careful, they could also impact how you show up as a leader.
In a leadership role, one of our duties is to encourage others – to be their cheerleader, mentor, and help coach them to find solutions even when they don’t think they have the answers. You have to pull it together enough to offer encouragement to others, even at times when you personally may need encouragement more than your team members do!
Creating a Winning Mindset
I love the quote from Dennis Waitley’s book, The Psychology of Winning: “Winning is taking the talent and potential you were born with, and have since developed, and using it fully toward a goal or purpose that makes you happy”.
One of the talents you were born with is your ability to change your mindset and, when this talent is fully developed into a strength, it can help you be the leader you want to be, even when times are tough.
Mindset determines your attitude in a variety of situations – some individuals are able to quickly bounce back and move on from a minor setback, while others need additional time to process their thoughts and feelings before moving on. In those rare cases where you might be having difficulty moving on, negativity can eat away at your self-confidence, making you question decisions and hold you up when you should be surging forward.
Three Positive Habits to Adopt Today
Fortunately, there are three easy rituals that, when you make them habits, will help you create and maintain a winning mindset:
- Start a daily gratitude practice. It can be as simple as writing down 3 things each morning that you are grateful for. For example, this morning I wrote down that I am grateful for my wife, my clients and coffee – yes, coffee. Once you get into a gratitude practice, you will also start to notice the small things that you take for granted every day. And this isn’t some mystical feel good practice (but it does feel good!) – there are multiple studies that show the positive benefits of gratitude, such as improving your physical and mental health, opening the door to new relationships, increasing empathy and even reducing aggression.
- Maintain healthy habits. One of the first things that tends to fall by the wayside when we’re stressed or feeling off is our exercise and eating routines – especially when business travel is involved. If you have an exercise routine – great, just make sure you keep it up at home and on the road. And if you haven’t exercised much lately, something as easy as walking 30 minutes per day has been shown to have positive health benefits and release stress.
- Stay curious. You didn’t earn your leadership reputation by having a closed mind, so don’t let your reaction to something that occurred in your day cause you to jump to conclusions or make assumptions when talking to your team. When you’re deep in a rut, you may be putting off negative vibes without even realizing it and you may start saying things like “yes, but…” or “get to the bottom line” or “that will never work”. Try using language such as “let’s see how we can” or “imagine if we could…” or “let’s see what is possible” instead. Using this suggested language creates high levels of oxytocin and dopamine in your brain and the brains of those around you, increasing co-creation, feelings of mutual success and increased trust.
I actively use the three habits above daily in my life as do my clients. We’ve all seen improved personal performance and happiness by adopting these three simple steps. And these techniques are also easy to share with people on your team and others in your life. A side benefit is that in sharing with others, you can often discover a deeper passion for your own work — and life.
One of the misconceptions of being a business leader is focusing on eliminating our employees’ weaknesses. Nothing could be further from the truth – our teammates come to us with unique talents and it is up to each of us as leaders to help them use those talents fully at work and in their life. When the individuals that you lead and coach pursue their cause with passion, intelligence and confidence, great things happen. They become engaged in their work and the cultural and business implications are big (more in a later post). So build this foundation of engagement first in yourself by having a winning mindset then share what you’re learning with your team. You’ll be glad that you did.
Join me as we explore the talents that make you unique and how to turn them into strengths. If you’re curious about learning more, contact me today for a complimentary 30-minute consultation and I’ll share how we can uncover your strengths and leverage them to create something truly extraordinary in your life and business.