It is unsettling to me that companies are still looking to capture the perfect leadership competency model. The expectation is that the right skills can be developed for the right situation. Many people are operating under the belief that the right skills help leaders execute the plan. But, there are contradictions for every situation. A move that was logical yesterday, might be illogical today as a result of rapid change. Consistent business practices are only valuable in a consistent business climate, which is virtually nonexistent today.
For today’s leaders, mindset development must come before skill-set development. For instance, it is hard to become a better listener without developing curiosity first. Learning to look people in the eye, fight distractions, and ask appropriate questions are important, but they are simply mechanical skills. Being open to new ideas and processes, and remaining inclusive of others lets you really hear what’s being said – and put it to good use. This is what I mean by mindset. Mechanics can be applied and developed universally. Mindset is individual. Mindset is the true separator of talent, not technique.
Our leaders do not know how to manage the paradox between the need to be strong-willed and sensitive to the needs of the team. They struggle with balancing command and control and remaining collaborative. They struggle balancing between having the right answers and forming the right questions. Today’s leaders do not know how to manage the paradox that exists in protecting organizational heritage and tenets while driving change, or making the tough call while trying to create an inclusive working environment.
Leadership development must look beyond simple skill-set development and focus more on helping leaders navigate the paradoxes by helping them form the proper leadership mindset.
10 ways to know if you’re teaching mindset in your organization:
Five concepts to teach mindset:
Leaders cannot be successful with skills alone. Organizations that recognize the importance of developing an innovative and adaptable mindset in their leaders are the ones that will experience the greatest success in the face of ever-increasing change.