I read a terrific book recently to get myself prepared for a talk to a convention of Business Coaches on the topic of how to help companies to gain the multiplicative effect of teamwork and collaboration. I think in all, I used seven or eight great texts to prepare, but this one book, “The Outward Mindset” written in 2016 by the Arbinger Institute, got me thinking about how our perceptions of ourselves and the people we work with really shape how we’re going to act and communicate and make decisions. I wanted to share it with you.
Change The World If we assume that many of us want to change the world for the better, then we probably need to think for a bit about how we view our place in that world, and how we view the places of others who might come along on that journey with us. How do you see yourself? How do you see your employees? How do you see your teammates? I hope you see yourself as a leader of positive transformative change. I hope you see your employees as capable and able to do a great many good things, from meeting to planning, to executing the plan, to analyzing the results, and planning again for the next steps. I hope you see your teammates as positively as you see yourself and I hope you realize how their talents and abilities can multiply against yours, and also against those of others. If we’re going to change the world for the better, we need to see ourselves and those around us, not as part of the problem, but as a big part of the solution. Seeing them that way will set us up for predictable success as we innovate and move forward. Too many people and organizations get bound up in restrictive mindsets. Don’t get obsessed with looking inward, get obsessed about the world of possibilities, and look outward.
What Are You Going To Do? I have a good friend and mentor who reminds me frequently that I am not God. Therefore, I have no control over the circumstances that come my way in life, whether they be weather, luck, or many other variables. He reminds me that the ONE most amazing and most powerful thing that I DO have near-complete control over, is how I’m going to RESPOND to those circumstances and events in my life and my work. I try as often as I can, and as vigorously as I can to remain steadfast in focusing on my responses to the events of my life. I try to remember to ask myself “What are you going to do, Beach?” When I’m off my game, I might complain about my rotten luck or look to blame some external force, which never makes things better. When I’m ON my game, I focus on helping myself to get back to a more positive place. When I’m ON my game, I focus on helping others to achieve their objectives and to get what they want in life. By focusing outward and by focusing on the positives, I put myself into a much better position from which to move forward positively. In my experience, doing so has made a terrific difference in my career and my life.
What Are You Waiting For? Over the years, I’ve learned that you can waste an awful lot of time and energy sitting around waiting for something to happen or waiting for others to change. You don’t want to waste your time and you don’t want to waste your energy. You cannot afford to wait around for someone else to go first or change first. Be the catalyst. Be the straw that stirs the drink. Go first. Go now. Your ability to demonstrate your agility could become the difference-maker. Get others to join you. Issue the rallying cry. Encourage everyone around you to focus on a collective goal, and then go first in taking the first swing of the ax, the first swing of the bat, the first spin of the wheel. As you begin building momentum, encourage and challenge others to come along for the ride. Change things so that it’s easier for others to volunteer and join you in your journey. Tap into the talent and innovation around you, but get things started now.
Hopefully, we’ve provided you with some food for thought. There are a great many things that could probably use a good change in this world. Let’s not sit around waiting to change them, let’s realize that we can go first, and start the process of changing them. Who’s with me? I hope you are. See you in a better place, one day soon, my friends.
Michael Beach is an Executive Development Coach certified as a Master Professional Business Coach by the Professional Business Coaches Alliance. Michael and his team of coaches work with several great companies around the United States, who tend to be fast-growth companies involved in the technology industry. If you’d like more information about what Michael and his coaches do to help teams to become high-performance teams, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.