In Lead more gently/ Purpose

Old mindsets that may be holding you back

I was a passenger in the car with my son when we got to a crossroad and he was uncertain of which way to turn.  He handed me his iPhone, told me to open the Maps App and tell him which way to turn.  Big mistake.  Firstly, I am one of those people that will turn a paper map around and around to make sense of all the squiggly lines.  Secondly, I had never used the app before.  My car’s built-in GPS system speaks to me in a friendly voice and kindly tells me where to go.  Not so much my frustrated son.  He needed quick directions, I needed time to figure out the app and the rest of the story is not so pretty.

old and new

We live in an ever-changing world.  New technology seems outdated as soon as it hits the shelves. Cars no longer need keys, cell phones are no longer just phones, bookshelves are becoming obsolete and so the list goes on.  My children are native to this ever changing world whereas I sometimes feel like someone in a foreign country.  I have however leant that there is no point in complaining and lamenting.  If I don’t want to be left behind, it is best to work hard at keeping pace.  This is true for mindsets as well.

Here are some old mindsets that may be holding you back from succeeding in today’s world.

  • By competing instead of collaborating, you may find yourself getting left out. Ruthless competitiveness and political power playing is no longer acceptable behavior and certainly not admired.
  • Focusing on “what” instead of on “why” will keep you bogged down. Rules have been replaced with a set of core values that determine why certain actions are preferable to others.  If you lose your “why” you will lose your way.
  • Placing emphasis on training rather than development will stifle growth.  Training will ensure that people behave in predictable patterns whereas development will ensure that people can manage opportunities and take responsibility.
  • If you focus on who is right rather than on what is right you will be trapped in a hierarchy and not easily create a culture of engaged, leadership-minded team players.
  • Placing undue emphasis on the financial bottom line rather than on the value being added will stifle innovation and creativity.  Great outcomes may get sacrificed at the altar of money.

Whether you are leading in business, your church, your family or elsewhere, moving away from old mindsets into fresh and new ways of thinking will not only help you keep pace but may just be what you need to propel you forward.

In the spirit of transparency, may I say that since the car-incident with my son I have learnt to use the Maps App and have discovered that it is actually quite brilliant.  You and I both know I should have been using it ages ago.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2


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