What is the secret to having a leadership mindset?
Updated: Apr 6
Having been on what felt like a gazillion and one training programmes during my corporate career, I learned so much about myself. About my strengths, about my blind-spots and weaker areas, about what my preferences are in terms of how I get energised through the work I do. It was really life-changing stuff for me and I have continued to be a course/development junkie ever since.
It has been five full years since I started on this entrepreneurial journey, and I often say that I am going to write a book called ‘The Reluctant Entrepreneur’ because there has been SO many times that I have wanted to just throw in the towel and go and get a job working for someone else!
Why? Because it’s bloody hard work working for yourself. I know it might sound great, the freedom to work when you want and how you want to, but the reality is that if you’re anything like me, and naturally an over-worker who strives to always be better tomorrow than I am today, then it’s tough. I never switch off from thinking about business. Whether it is growing my own business, or supporting my clients with their business growth.
This is what no-one tells you when you start out! Anyway…I have come to terms with the fact that this drive and passion for what I do is just part of who I am. So why am I sharing this? Firstly, because I hope it balances some of those stories out there that running a biz is always super easy and fun compared to having a job. I’m not saying it can’t be, I’m showing that there is a different side that isn’t as commonly shared!
The thing that I have really relied on over the last few years has been the stuff I learned about having a leadership mindset. When we use the word ‘leader’, everyone has a slightly different thought or view that comes to mind about what a leader is, but ultimately, we are all leaders of our own lives.
Wherever you are, whatever you do, you are the CEO of your own life, right? If you really dislike where you are working and feel like you’re going nowhere fast, you’ve got a choice about leaving and going to get a job elsewhere. If you are surrounded by friends who you are feeling disconnected from and there is a gap between where they are and where you are or where you want to be, you have a choice about whether you spend your free time with them. The trouble I see is that lots of people end up with a treadmill life – they’re going through the motions and never stop to actually check in with themselves about what they want to be, do, and have in their lives.
I’ve worked with countless CEO’s of organisations big and small, and there are several things that I think they have in common. I’ve summarised these below….
· They are unapologetic about taking up space and time - heroes walk slowly!
· They are confident in their own skin - they accept and like themselves for who they are.
· They show up and shine - rather than playing safe and small.
· They do things out of their comfort zone - they feel the fear and do it anyway (and I have coached enough CEO’s before tough media interviews to know that they do genuinely feel the fear, like we all do!).
· They live life on their terms as much as possible - because they’re the boss!
· They do as much as they can to make their life easier - by surrounding themselves with brilliant people.
· They have a winning mindset - they don’t look left and right at what others are doing.
· They have resilience and a strength of character to cope with whatever life throws their way.
· They take radical responsibility because they know the buck stops with them!
All of this ultimately leads them towards success - whatever that definition is for them, although there are clear similarities with things like earning decent money, having good health and taking time out to enjoy life.
So, what is the secret to having a leadership mindset? Well sadly, there’s no magic wand! It takes the commitment to doing the inner work. To push through your self-limiting beliefs and your mindset blocks that tell you that you can’t, that it’s not available for you, or that you’re too busy – and all of those other bullshit excuses that you, we, tell ourselves every day. It’s about getting out of your own way, identifying the self-sabotaging behaviours that are blocking your success, and taking action, however teeny and tiny those baby steps might be towards the future that you want. Check out my book Don’t Dim to Fit In for my tips and techniques on how to break through your own glass ceiling to accomplish your goals.
It is the things you do today, tomorrow, this week, month and year that will help you get closer to the CEO version of you. You can get your copy of Don’t Dim to Fit In on Amazon because it's your time and you're ready to shine!