If we invoke the K.I.S.S—Keep It Simple Stupid—principle, a simple mindset change at two levels—individual and organizational—can make a huge difference in our effectiveness as leaders, coaches, and educators. The first and most fundamental mindset change begins with the recognition that leading is not about you. It is about your ability to create an environment to maximize the abilities of those whom you are leading and their potential to be successful. The second level of the mindset shift focuses on the organization. At this level, the emphasis is on communication to create a common vision, which is a critical element for collaboration. This collaboration-based approach creates an environment to maximize the abilities of each team member. These mindset shifts recognize that every person on “your team” brings something unique to the group. It is up to you as the “leader” to help them maximize their abilities and contributions.
The more I practice leadership, think about leadership, read about leadership, and hear people talk about leaders they admire, the clearer it becomes. Changing your mindset to focus on taking individuals and your organization from the “now” to the “new” will improve your effectiveness as a leader.
To help facilitate this shift in mindset for you as a leader, it is important for you to:
- Know yourself;
- Know the learning, behavioral, and motivational styles, among others, of those you lead;
- Use methods that are developmentally appropriate for your students, players, and employees to facilitate and maximize learning;
- Employ methods to articulate where it is you want your team, class, or organization to go, and develop a plan to get there;
- Develop a culture that continuously assesses and reflects, individually and collectively, on what works, what did not work, and what needs to be improved;
- Learn methods that facilitate communication and a collaborative culture where questions are expected.