In the business world there are a lot of leaders who have a positive mindset. When they are faced with tough times, bad news, or set-backs, they each keep their chin up and tell everyone around them that things are great and all will be fine. The problem is that even if they believe it (which usually is not the real case) those around them begin to doubt them. This can boomerang back on the leader and actually contribute to the team doubting the leader's honesty, authenticity, and contact with reality. In sports, when I see this approach from the coach or the team leader I am almost always certain that they know they are in trouble and it's inevitable that they will lose.
On the other hand, when I see leaders with a High Performance Mindset I see a completely different picture. When faced with tough times, bad news, or set-backs, they face their challenges head on. They admit their struggles, they are open about their current situation, but they remain curious, committed, and confident that they can succeed. They strive to be a little bit better every day, they listen and focus better than ever, they prepare for every meeting and interaction like never before, and they exude humble confidence that they will figure out a way to win. When faced with this type of leader, the team appreciates the authenticity of the leader, they deepen their commitment to finding the best solutions, and they rally to win at all costs.
In sports, when a coach or a team leader shares their worries or honest appraisal of the situation fans often comment that they have lost confidence. When these leaders make comments like, "all we can do is keep working hard to improve a little every day and bring our best effort to everything we do," the press often says there's a crack in their armor and they may be done. But when I see these type of comments I see a high performance mindset that is realistically assessing their situation, diligently developing new strategies, and focusing on the things that are within their control. I see a humble leader who will no doubt rally the support of their team and a leader who will probably inspire his/her team to win.
When the challenges are high, and you may be struggling, don't take the easy way out and just stay positive. Instead, dig deep, diligently prepare yourself, focus on the things within your control, work hard to get a little bit better every day, and inspire your team to develop better and better solutions. With this high performance mindset people will gladly follow you and you'll greatly improve your chances to win.
As always, I'd love to hear what you think.
By Scott Peltin
Founder & Chief Performance Officer