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Tough times? Great leaders!

Tough times? Great leaders!

As Martin Luther King Jr. said: The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm. It is easy! You just have to pay attention, know in which direction you are headed, and go with the flow.

On the other hand, when the sea is not calm and going with the flow is not an option, true leaders step up and take command. And that’s what makes them great.

Great leadership is not required when things go well and conditions are perfect. Great leadership is required when challenges appear, difficult situations arouse, and the team needs support and direction. Real leaders are the ones that calm the turbulent sea, show confidence, and point the way out of it.

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Douglas MacArthur defined true leadership like this:

A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.

In most cases, it’s easiest to identify true leaders when things go wrong.

Here are three traits that define great leaders:

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They are proud of who they are

Even when circumstances are not ideal, great leaders believe in their organization, their employees (or followers) and their culture. They are proud of who they are and what they represent and never doubt their identity. When things go wrong and the organization comes under pressure, this awareness becomes even more important and allows them to go on in spite of whatever challenges present themselves.

In changing times, leaders need to stay true to their vision and reiterate organizational values so that everyone rows in the same direction. A strong corporate culture can turn fear into confidence and become the best protection against difficult situations.

In the end, any team, department or organization needs to be, above all, a common cause for each one of its members.

We vs. I

Great leaders take responsibility when things don’t work and share successes when things go well. No matter why the team failed, he or she is the one to blame. This is how they create the conditions that allow the team to make mistakes, speak honestly and find fulfillment.

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In other words, they use “We” instead of “I” and – ALWAYS – put the interest of the organization ahead of their own self-interest.

Great leaders create more leaders by empowering others and allowing them to make mistakes. Everyone has permission to fail, as long as they fail fast and passionately!

They NEVER quit

As Vince Lombardi said:

Winning is not a sometime thing; it is an all-time thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit.

Winners never quit and quitters never win! Great leaders plan to win, prepare to win, and play to win. And even more importantly, they never give up. Even if the journey gets tough and the light at the end of the tunnel begins to dim, they are able to get back on track and move forward.

Resilience is part of their DNA — they possess the  ability to fall and stand up quickly, learn from past mistakes and focus on the road ahead. When they are put to the test, they stay strong and keep going. And that’s how they succeed.

Remember: Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.

Featured photo credit: Surian Soosay via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 15, 2018

Success In Reaching Goals Is Determined By Mindset

Success In Reaching Goals Is Determined By Mindset

What do you think it takes to achieve your goals? Hard work? Lots of actions? While these are paramount to becoming successful in reaching our goals, neither of these are possible without a positive mindset.

As humans, we naturally tend to lean towards a negative outlook when it comes to our hopes and dreams. We are prone to believing that we have limitations either from within ourselves or from external forces keeping us from truly getting to where we want to be in life. Our tendency to think that we’ll “believe it when we see it” suggests that our mindsets are focused on our goals not really being attainable until they’ve been achieved. The problem with this is that this common mindset fuels our limiting beliefs and shows a lack of faith in ourselves.

The Success Mindset

Success in achieving our goals comes down to a ‘success mindset’. Successful mindsets are those focused on victory, based on positive mental attitudes, empowering inclinations and good habits. Acquiring a success mindset is the sure-fire way to dramatically increase your chance to achieve your goals.

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The idea that achieving our goals comes down to our habits and actions is actually a typical type of mindset that misses a crucial point; that our mindset is, in fact, the determiner of our energy and what actions we take. A negative mindset will tend to create negative actions and similarly if we have a mindset that will only set into action once we see ‘proof’ that our goals are achievable, then the road will be much longer and arduous. This is why, instead of thinking “I’ll believe it when I see it”, a success mindset will think “I’ll see it when I believe it.”

The Placebo Effect and What It Shows Us About The Power of Mindset

The placebo effect is a perfect example of how mindset really can be powerful. In scientific trials, a group of participants were told they received medication that will heal an ailment but were actually given a sugar pill that does nothing (the placebo). Yet after the trial the participants believed it’s had a positive effect – sometimes even cured their ailment even though nothing has changed. This is the power of mindset.

How do we apply this to our goals? Well, when we set goals and dreams how often do we really believe they’ll come to fruition? Have absolute faith that they can be achieved? Have a complete unwavering expectation? Most of us don’t because we hold on to negative mindsets and limiting beliefs about ourselves that stop us from fully believing we are capable or that it’s at all possible. We tend to listen to the opinions of others despite them misaligning with our own or bow to societal pressures that make us believe we should think and act a certain way. There are many reasons why we possess these types of mindsets but a success mindset can be achieved.

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How To Create a Success Mindset

People with success mindsets have a particular way of perceiving things. They have positive outlooks and are able to put faith fully in their ability to succeed. With that in mind, here are a few ways that can turn a negative mindset into a successful one.

1. A Success Mindset Comes From a Growth Mindset

How does a mindset even manifest itself? It comes from the way you talk to yourself in the privacy of your own head. Realising this will go a long way towards noticing how you speak to yourself and others around you. If it’s mainly negative language you use when you talk about your goals and aspirations then this is an example of a fixed mindset.

A negative mindset brings with it a huge number of limiting beliefs. It creates a fixed mindset – one that can’t see beyond it’s own limitations. A growth mindset sees these limitations and looks beyond them – it finds ways to overcome obstacles and believes that this will result in success. When you think of your goal, a fixed mindset may think “what if I fail?” A growth mindset would look at the same goal and think “failures happen but that doesn’t mean I won’t be successful.”

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There’s a lot of power in changing your perspective.

2. Look For The Successes

It’s really important to get your mind focused on positive aspects of your goal. Finding inspiration through others can be really uplifting and keep you on track with developing your success mindset; reinforcing your belief that your dreams can be achieved. Find people that you can talk with about how they achieved their goals and seek out and surround yourself with positive people. This is crucial if you’re learning to develop a positive mindset.

3. Eliminate Negativity

You can come up against a lot of negativity sometimes either through other people or within yourself. Understanding that other people’s negative opinions are created through their own fears and limiting beliefs will go a long way in sustaining your success mindset. But for a lot of us, negative chatter can come from within and these usually manifest as negative words such as can’t, won’t, shouldn’t. Sometimes, when we think of how we’re going to achieve our goals, statements in our minds come out as negative absolutes: ‘It never works out for me’ or ‘I always fail.’

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When you notice these coming up you need to turn them around with ‘It always works out for me!’ and ‘I never fail!’ The trick is to believe it no matter what’s happened in the past. Remember that every new day is a clean slate and for you to adjust your mindset.

4. Create a Vision

Envisioning your end goal and seeing it in your mind is an important trait of a success mindset. Allowing ourselves to imagine our success creates a powerful excitement that shouldn’t be underestimated. When our brain becomes excited at the thought of achieving our goals, we become more committed, work harder towards achieving it and more likely to do whatever it takes to make it happen.

If this involves creating a vision board that you can look at to remind yourself every day then go for it. Small techniques like this go a long way in sustaining your success mindset and shouldn’t be dismissed.

An Inspirational Story…

For centuries experts said that running a mile in under 4 minutes was humanly impossible. On the 6th May 1954, Rodger Bannister did just that. As part of his training, Bannister relentlessly visualised the achievement, believing he could accomplish what everyone said wasn’t possible…and he did it.

What’s more amazing is that, as soon as Bannister achieved the 4-minute mile, more and more people also achieved it. How was this possible after so many years of no one achieving it? Because in people’s minds it was suddenly possible – once people knew that it was achievable it created a mindset of success and now, after over fifty years since Bannister did the ‘impossible’, his record has been lowered by 17 seconds – the power of the success mindset!

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