The Power of a Leadership Mindset

The following is a guest post from ProjectHR guest Steve Dion, who we chatted with about The Great Resignation occuring in 2021. For more about the work he does as the Founder and CEO of Dion Leadership, head here!

It’s been a difficult, challenging time for leaders. Surviving a global pandemic didn’t come with an instruction book. There was no training available for how to pivot a business to operate remotely, shut down (partially or completely for some time), and then successfully navigate a hybrid workplace. There were no quick answers for how to solve for supply chain disruptions, unsteady cash flow, and a host of other thorny business issues. However, some leaders adeptly navigated the complex, foreign, and constantly shifting environment with courage and grace. Some leaders rose to the challenge, leaned into the uncertainty and discomfort, mobilized their teams, solved unexpected problems, and in many cases demonstrated deep compassion for their employees.  

What was the difference between those leaders that shined and those that stumbled? I believe it was their leadership mindset.

The Power of Mindset 

Long fascinated by the power of mindset in general, and curious about how it impacts leadership skills in particular, my Dion Leadership colleagues and I set out to study the vast body of mindset research. We found a wide mix of dimensions, descriptors, and points of view that detail its importance to personal, educational, and professional achievement. It soon became clear that mindset can make or break leaders. Mindset determines how they approach problems and decisions, interact with colleagues, and view the future. It impacts every aspect of how they show up and succeed at work.   

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We went to work distilling this research into a model that breaks the concept of leadership mindset into six practical and actionable elements. They are: 

  1. Growth-Oriented – Leaders who possess a leadership mindset consistently seek growth for themselves, for others, and for the organization. They believe intelligence and talents can change over time and therefore seek out new, more difficult challenges. They measure success based on growth, not achievements.  
  1. Resilient – This enables leaders to withstand adversity and reframe it as opportunity, leading to learning and innovation. These leaders constantly seek self-awareness and work to be nonjudgmental and non-reactive. 
  1. Driven – Leaders with a leadership mindset demonstrate a commitment to excel and a passion to produce results and exceed expectations. They have a strong sense of purpose and focus on maximizing their own contribution and their impact on others. 

Leaders with a #leadership #mindset demonstrate a commitment to excel and a passion to produce results and exceed #expectations. #leadershipmindset #leaders

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  1. Future-Focused – Effective leaders plan and act with the future in mind, both in the short-term and long-term. They embrace innovation and change, craft strategies, set long-term goals, and choose to spend time on important items that may not give immediate gratification. 
  1. Accountable – For leaders with a leadership mindset accountability has two dimensions: demonstrating personal accountability and holding others accountable for results and behavior. To do this, they take time to gain clarity on expectation and provide candid and timely feedback. 
  1. Inclusive – Leaders with an inclusive mindset welcome diverse perspectives, and they willingly share information and ideas, finding inspiration in the process. They believe others know things they don’t and are comfortable being challenged. They know that inclusive teams are more innovative, productive, and able to respond to new and challenging tasks. 

In our Six Elements of a Leadership Mindset: How to Transform Beliefs into Behavior Change e-book, we discuss these skills in more detail and provide development suggestions for leaders.  

leadership mindset

Cultivate a Leadership Mindset in Your Organization 

Whether you make talent manage decisions for your organization or not, you can help infuse a new and healthy leadership mindset into your organization by acting today. Start by exposing yourself to something you haven’t experienced before. Find something that is new, and maybe even a bit intimidating, and get involved.  Find your “why,” and get clear about the bigger purpose of your work in a way that gets you energized.  Carve out time to plan for the future and build a process that keeps you future-focused. Use this clarity and drive to hold yourself and others accountable to short- and long-term goals by providing clear and timely feedback.  Intentionally involve others, especially those that might not be in your typical circle of collaborators.  And, along the journey, take time to create a mindfulness practice—staying resilient, present, and ready for the next big challenge. 

Find your “why,” and get clear about the bigger purpose of your work in a way that gets you energized, in order to cultivate a #leadership #mindset. #leadershipdevelopment

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Combatting Burnout, Promoting Well Being 

Why is it important to focus on your leadership mindset right now? The pandemic-related difficulties at both work and home have ushered in an epidemic of burnout. If you don’t feel it, chances may of your peers and staff do. As the talent crisis becomes more acute, leaders and organizations who are able to mitigate burnout and promote work-life alignment will be the ones who can attract and retain the best talent.  

Mindset is the key that will help leaders be successful as they transition their organizations from the hard-driving, pre-pandemic cultures to the human-centered, post-pandemic workplaces that are emerging from this great transition. 

 

Steve Dion is Founder and CEO of Dion Leadership a leadership and organization development consulting firm based in Michigan. Steve has dedicated his career to understanding and improving organizational cultures through the creation and deployment of innovative assessment, leadership, and team development programs. He is a regular contributor to CEOWORLD magazine, Chief Executive, TrainingIndustry.com, and HRCI’s HR Leads Business Blog. Steve and his Dion Leadership colleagues recently launched a new training product that support work-life alignment. 

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About the Author Walter Orechwa

Walter is IRI's Director of Digital Solutions and founder of UnionProof & A Better Leader. As the creator of Union Proof Certification, Walter provides expert advice, highly effective employee communication resources and ongoing learning opportunities for Human Resources and Labor Relations professionals.