Everyone that I talk with has a desire to grow up in their leadership.
Not many leaders want to just stay where they are at.
I think that many leaders believe that growth requires more ability or more experience. Although, this is a part of it, I think moving up in leadership requires more than just your competency or experience.
I am noticing that as I grow up in leadership, it requires a different way of thinking. We must think differently the further we move up in our organization.
I want to share three mindset shifts that must change the further you go up in your leadership.
1. Ownership Shift
Think back to your very first job. Mine was at a Greenhouse. Yes, that is not a misprint. I worked at a greenhouse so we sold flowers. My parents knew the owners and they got me on as a young teenager. I sold flowers and handled a lot of the landscaping around the greenhouse. That was it. I showed up, I did my job, and I left. I did not lay in bed at night thinking about how much we made that day. I did not lay in bed wondering what customers thought about the landscaping and appearance of the greenhouse when they pulled up. In fact, I really at times liked days where customers were few, because it was an “easy day” at work.
After writing that, I feel like a terrible employee, but this story has a point.
I was at the bottom of the barrel, and my mindset was why I stayed there for a long time.
For me to grow up in leadership, I had to start thinking differently which would require an ownership mindset shift.
How much better would that greenhouse had of profited if I looked at landscaping around the Greenhouse as an opportunity for me to influence the customers experience which would keep them coming back?
How much more profitable would that Greenhouse had of been had I of engaged more customers in conversation knowing that my influence could potentially impact them making a sale?
We will never know, but you have to wonder.
Now, the owners of the Greenhouse…They thought differently than me. They would never close which oftentimes irritated me, but as I got older, I realized that they had a mindset that was much different than mine.
They challenged me to be more friendly and outgoing to customers.
They corrected me when I did not weed-eat around the property as good as I could have.
At the time, it frustrated me, and I just thought, “I guess that is what bosses are supposed to do,” but as I have gotten older, I realized that it was all because they had a owner’s mindset, and I had a low employee mindset.
In order to grow up in your leadership, you have to own the outcomes of your organization.
2. Responsibility Shift
Not only does your mindset have to change to an owner’s mindset, but your mindset has to have a responsibility shift as well.
As an employee, you think about your job description. You think about getting your job done and clocking out.
Listen, leaders of large organizations have a lot of responsibility. They may have to work a tad bit over 40 hours a week at times.
They may have to do some work that was not on their job description when they were hired (yikes, is this hitting to close to home).
There is a common misconception with leadership that says, “The further you go up, the less you have to do.” Sure delegation is a part of leadership, but I have learned that the opposite is true.
The further you go up, the more responsibility you attain.
Young leaders, if you want to go up in leadership, don’t be afraid to take on more responsibility, because you probably will not be asked to move up if you are always trying to do the bare minimum that your position requires.
3. Outcomes Shift
One of the biggest challenges that I face in leadership is helping those that I lead to own not just the work that gets us to the outcome, but to own the outcome itself.
Employees like to own the work that gets you to the event, but they do not like to own the outcomes of the event.
For example, if you worked your tail off and the outcomes were below expectations, the employee usually notices the work that it took to get there and naturally thinks, “I did it.” The leader notices the outcome of the event you worked so hard to get to.
If you want to move up in your organization, start noticing and caring more about the outcomes of the event rather than the work it took to get to the event.
How many people attended the event? Own that part more than the set up / tear down it took to execute the event.
Leaders own outcomes. Employees own jobs.
So how are you thinking? Are you thinking like a leader or like an employee?
If you ever want to grow up in your organization, it will take you thinking differently.