There is a simple formula my most successful clients agree on. It goes as follows:
1. Flourishing businesses have flourishing patients/clients/customers.
2. Flourishing customers are created by flourishing employees.
3. Flourishing leaders create flourishing employees.
As I wrote in my Special Report, Mastering Your Mindset: Nine Negative Habits That Hold Executives Back and How to Break Them, more often than not, the lack of flourishing is not a skill set issue, but a mindset issue. Here are two examples.
I heard of a hospital CEO who wanted to recruit a cardiovascular surgeon scheduled to leave his current hospital. The surgeon was a brilliant physician, had a history of positive clinical results and brought an assured profitability to the hospital. When the interview panel of six SVPs returned a unanimous “do not hire” recommendation due to the physician “not valuing their team culture, argumentative on minute issues, a poor listener, dismissive of all employees other than physicians and holding a negative view of the CEO”, the CEO hired them anyway. The reason? “You’re being overly critical and you can learn how to work with him.” This CEO dismissed the feedback of a smart and talented group of SVPs and communicated his real criteria in decision making: money trumps culture and my VPs opinions. Money is important, but when financial performance becomes the key strategic driver and culture is dismissed without significant thought, long-term performance is on life support.
I also heard today from an entrepreneur of a brilliant employee whose skill set was perfectly aligned with an emerging technology the company needed, but whose mindset held a “my way or the highway” way of doing his work. When he was pushed to choose between the corporate culture of delighting customers and his way of doing his work, the customer came in second. Any time a customer comes in second to an employee preference for doing their work flourishing is destined for failure.
These two examples represent the cancer the nine negative habits are to an organization. And as is the case with cancer, oftentimes leaders don’t know they have cancer until the only solution is a massive and radical medical intervention.
To help you identify if there is a cancerous mindset inside your organization, I developed my leadership mindset assessment. On the following ten questions rate yourself using a 1 – 10 scale. One is I don’t have or do this regularly, and ten is yes, I have and do this regularly. You can also use this assessment with or on your direct reports.
1. I have a clearly defined and communicated leadership purpose
2. I am currently and actively engaged in growing my leadership mindset AND skill set
3. I devote a minimum of 10% of my workweek to thinking holistically and strategically
4. I set, pursue and accomplish my priorities with enthusiasm
5. I track leadership results and share them with a trusted partner weekly
6. The people I interact with most say I infuse hope, confidence and optimism into the workplace
7. I read broadly and welcome opposing viewpoints and perspectives
8. I am comfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity
9. I’m committed to having a positive impact on one persons life; both personally and professionally, daily
10.I am having fun at work and at home
Hugh’s Mastering Your Mindset Challenge:
There are three important questions that need asking after viewing this assessment. Where am I today, where was I one year ago and where do I want to be in one year?
If your score was lower one year ago, what have you done to improve? Quite simply, do more of what made you successful.
If your score was higher one year ago, identify what caused your score to decrease and identify one strategy for increasing it.
Where do you want to be in one year? Identify one or two areas where you want to flourish and choose two or three strategies from the Mastering Your Mindset special report to accelerate your progress.