This is our third consecutive post on the outward mindset, taken from the book by that same title. Our fourth post, next week, will conclude the series. We thought it would be best to set a firm foundation on this topic, since it is seminal to leadership.
One minute and counting…
Whatever you do, say, or think, it’s your mindset that comes through, and that is what people directly respond to. Behaviors and mindset are inseparable companions.
According to this excellent book, The Outward Mindset, those who concentrate on changing mindset more than behavior are four times more likely to succeed, because behavior is temporary if mindset is not permanent. If one seeks to change behavior instead of mindset, then upon exit of the situation, they will snap right back to where they were before. This month, Dr. Craig Wright and I published an article, Successful Transitions Require New Thinking in Physician’s Leadership Journal. The major premise is, that unless the thinking changes, any new behavior is rarely sustainable.
My daughter recently came back from a six-week humanitarian aid trip to northern Greece. She described how the refugees she worked with were mainly men. Some had been there two weeks, others had been there two years. It would make complete sense that majority of the men would be angry with their situation, and frustrated by their dependency. For the most part they were, but she noted a specific group of outliers. Seven men who had come together in an abandoned building. Four were Syrian chefs. Men who had been successful professionals in stainless steal kitchens now used cinderblocks and dried wood, cooking on what could be found or donated. Reduced to one of the lowest levels of living.
Upon her daily deliveries of a loaf of cheap sliced bread, and the occasional vegetables, my daughter found what made these men the outliers was their complete hope, joy, and gratitude for what they had. These men were fragments of their family, of society, with no sure future ahead. In spite of this, their positivity stood as a pillar of strength, though completely out of place. Her visits to these men stood in stark contrast to the bitter outlook of many of the other men and refugees – full of understandable resentment to their situation.
The difference I wish to point out from observation of her experience, is their mindset.
It’s simple. Mindset changes – feeling changes – behavior changes.
When mindsets change, people change. A miserable situation can turn into just another environment in which to thrive. Much like the refugees, you may not be able to change your situation but your mindset within it is completely up to you.
When implemented as a leader, the change of mindset in your team members will produce unimaginable results, because they are following your example. They will respect you more. This instills intrinsic change. People will desire to make good decisions, beneficial to others and therefore beneficial to themselves and the hospital or clinic.
Your challenge: Find one situation in your week that you dread, a meeting, a patient, and change your mindset.