“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.” – Albert Ellis
It’s interesting to watch leader behavior across different organizations. Each one has their own quirks, their own way of speaking, their own way of attacking problems, etc. Each one has different strengths and weaknesses, different ideas about growth & change, and so on.
Despite all these differences, however, there are a number of things the leaders who succeed have in common. We could talk about any number of those things, but I believe one stands out above the rest. Leaders who achieve great things and who lead organizations that achieve great things believe that they can and will successfully make change.
Those successful leaders believe that they can impact the future in a positive way. That belief drives behaviors that drive positive results. It doesn’t mean that nothing ever goes wrong or that barriers don’t ever get in the way. It simply means that because of their beliefs about their own future, they’re able to handle them successfully.
And that doesn’t just apply to the leader. That belief is contagious. If the leader clearly communicates their belief that goals can be achieved, problems can be solved, etc., the rest of the group will believe it too, and their behaviors will being to drive success as well. They may not all buy in right away – every group has its Eeyores. But eventually, most people will recognize that positive things are happening and they’ll want to be part of it. Those that don’t will leave (Congratulations!)
So ask yourself, as a leader – what do I believe about our ability to make change? What do I believe about our ability to achieve our goals, push through barriers, and create the organization we want to have? Just as importantly, what am I communicating to our people? Do they see me as positive about change and confident that we’ll succeed? Or do they see me as someone who is pessimistic, gloomy, depressed, and just along for the ride?
Your belief about your future (both personally and as an organization) will drive what you do, and what you do will drive the outcome. Think carefully about your beliefs, and where they’ll lead. If you don’t like the outcome, then it’s time to change your thinking.