I was working with a senior leader at a financial institution this week. She shared how difficult it was to lead thoughtfully, when buffeted by ongoing interruptions, challenges and problems. This was compounded by a belief (probably unrealistic but still common) that ‘things should be returned to normal-ish by now’. She was frustrated and felt thwarted. Her tolerance for disruption was very low.
And I get it. When best laid plans and hopeful expectations don’t happen, it really does bite us in the bum. I know – my life and work has been upended somewhat through the devastating floods up here near Lismore. For all of us, wherever we are, unwanted stuff happens. And it hurts – especially when we start to gain some forward momentum.
The thing is – does this have to determine how we be? Is there a way to lead without being hijacked by the circumstances?
There is. Gaining mastery with your mindset is the way.
The power with mindsets is that it isn’t about anyone denying the difficulties. It’s not about trying to fake it till you make, or putting a positive spin on things. Quite the contrary. In fact, doing that only makes things worse.
The power of mindsets is in how we can each choose how we respond. We always have choice – not in the outer circumstances necessarily – but within. Being able to choose how we lead – and that we lead – is always up to us.
There is a way to do this. I outline a 4 step Mindset Process in Lead In that walks you through how to shift your own mindset, and help others too as well. Whatever you’re stuck on can be transformed. Even if it’s been a fixed or limiting belief that’s hung around for a long time.
I use this approach every single day. When I feel overwhelmed by the unrelenting bad news, when I find myself doubting myself, or being pulled into annoyance, shortness or apathy – I centre myself in the Mindset Process. I do the work. I know I can always choose how I show up.
I think that’s the lesson for us all now. There is work to do. It’s not gonna stop. Bringing clarity and focus to our mindsets is the key to leading in these turbulent times.
Till next week,