In Beliefs, Leaders

“Don’t try to be fearless…Just try to prevent fear from making your decisions for you.” – Chris Guillebeau

We mention beliefs a lot in this space (like here, here, and here, for example) because our beliefs as leaders are so important to our performance and that of our businesses. What we believe drives our behavior, which drives the outcomes in both our personal and professional lives. And yet, most leaders don’t seem to spend much time assessing and improving those beliefs.

Ask the typical leader about their beliefs and usually you’ll get a weird look, probably followed by some mostly incoherent words that sound a lot like “My beliefs are great”. Then you listen to everything else those leaders say, and virtually everything they do, and you realize that those beliefs aren’t so great. That those beliefs tend to be negative, both about themselves and their organization’s future. That those beliefs are essentially that we’re surrounded by nothing but bad stuff, and there isn’t anything we can do about it.

But those beliefs are a choice. They are not mandatory. You aren’t required to believe that changing business models in your industry signal the end for your company. You can choose to believe that those changes signal huge opportunities for companies that are agile and persevere to take advantage of them.

You aren’t required to believe that it’s impossible to keep your best people because they have so many opportunities. You can choose to believe that your best people are looking for something you can provide, and if you provide it, they’ll be more loyal and engaged than any employees you had in the past who worked for you simply because they believed they didn’t have any other options.

I could keep going, but you get the picture. You get to decide what you believe about your situation and about your business. But it starts with an honest self-assessment. Pay attention to the way you speak to others in and about your business. Perhaps more importantly, pay attention to the way you speak to yourself. Do you sound like someone on the verge of success? Or complete failure?

Your beliefs drive everything you do, and what you do will determine the future for you and your business. Make sure those beliefs are in order, or nothing else will matter. Don’t be your own worst enemy.

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