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Continuing our series on coaching a mindset change, this week we put the leader under the spotlight.
Warning: If you “can’t handle the truth” then look away now.
There’s no two ways about it, it is leaders who are accountable when it comes to delivering results. Leaders must set the example, as well as the boundaries. They must coach, inspire and motivate. It is the mindset of the leader that will largely determine whether a team/business will win or lose.
Sounds daunting? Well it should do. Being a leader is tough, being a successful leader is even tougher, but by adopting the right mindset; problems become challenges, mistakes become opportunities and gaps in capability become goals.
1. Empower your people
Giving your people the freedom to think, react, make decisions, initiate and innovate displays your confidence and trust and them. This not only heightens their sense of responsibility, but also their levels of engagement and motivation. Involve them in the vision – it is they who must deliver it, so let them help you shape it. If you want your people to realise their individual and collective potential, you need to allow them to make their own mistakes and learn from them and coaching your team is critical to achieving this.
2. Hold your people to account
This doesn’t mean reprimanding them just because they miss a target. Tied in closely with empowerment, it’s about asking people to take responsibility for their actions. That means holding them to account for their efforts, not just their results. Of course results are critical, but occasionally, luck and circumstance may lead two different people to achieve the same result with two opposing levels of effort. If we adopt a fixed mindset and look at just the results, we become blinded and limit our own potential.
Accountability starts with the leader. The leader must hold themself to account, as well as their people. Be seen to be practicing what you preach.
3. Encourage self-development
Assessing gaps in skills and capabilities is one clear way of saying “we want to be better”. The leader should work with their team to identify areas for development, as well as demonstrating a pursuit of their own self-improvement. We are none of us all that we are capable of and the leader with the growth mindset knows this. Rather than a sign of weakness, admitting our shortcomings displays a strength of character, doing something about those shortcomings makes us exceptional.
If you are a leader and you want your people to realise their potential and deliver outstanding results, then you have to adopt a growth mindset. Quite simply, your people will rarely engage in change, growth and development without a leader who inspires them to do so.
In our next post we start to look at some practical coaching tools and techniques that can be used to develop a growth mindset.