Leadership is first and foremost about mindset. Why? Because, like life, work does not happen in conveniently packaged and predicted events – it mostly just happens. To respond effectively in those unpredicted, unscripted moments – how a leader chooses to ‘be’ – relies on a solid sense of who they are.
This is not only about the tools and techniques they may have learnt, but a solid conviction about the ‘right’ course of action. With this new instinctive response, the former can of course help. Without an instinct to help those struggling, to forego short term wins for long term gain, to be prepared to reflect or facilitate answers from others rather than fix oneself, tools and techniques can quickly gather dust. It’s ‘action logic’ that demands leaders’ attention – how are they ‘being’ in the day-to-day of leadership? Mindful of relationships, driven to grow others and intolerant of disrespect? What they notice and overlook in these every day moments is what defines them.
As Sheridan Resolutions, we create an environment to challenge senior leaders to be the best they can be. Given the pressures on a modern leader, businesses need to give their top people the time to think about their development and the space to make good decisions for the benefit of themselves and the organisation.
It is these moments that will define a leader. It’s about instinctively asking the question, ‘what would be helpful to you right now?’, because at the heart of their leadership sits, amongst many, a conviction that this is their role and responsibility. Lacking that, other instincts kick in, the moment passes and the opportunity is lost.
On their journey, leaders need to take care that their beliefs and instinctive responses / actions are fit for the leadership purpose and not relics of some earlier life and role. This may require jettisoning old ways of thinking, and re-equipping themselves with new ones and so leading with intentionality, until that becomes embedded as new instincts, which can be heard by others as new questions, new phrases.
Language is the pinhole of perception and that’s why the very best leaders take great care first over mindset and the way in which they are expressed through conversations.